It’s been ten months since Phoebe was born. Sometimes that feels like forever, other times it’s a blink of an eye. She changes so much and so rapidly, it’s really quite incredible to watch.
When she turned nine months old, it was like something was triggered in her brain that ignited her curiosity and problem solving abilities. She now loves to put things into pots and cups, she loves shaking things to find out if they make a sound, she turns the pages of books and lifts the flaps, and she wants to drum on absolutely everything.
I am continuously finding myself researching the best toys, clothes and activities for her age, and discovering my own through trial and error.
When Phoebe turned six months old I shared a post about how to keep a three to six month old baby entertained, and now it’s time for six to nine. I think I’ll make this a regular feature and refer back to it any time I want to buy someone a gift for their baby, or if someone asks for recommendations. I hope you find it useful, too.
Best Baby Activities 6 to 9 Months
I have seen people all over Instagram using a Tuff Tray to set up activities for babies and toddlers, but I wondered how useful they’d be in reality. I ended up purchasing a black one from Amazon (I’m fairly sure they’re meant to be for builders and decorators?) but the blue ones are really nice and just a few pounds extra – I think if I were to recommend one I’d say go for blue just for a bit of colour.
We’ve ended up using it loads! It’s a bit annoying because it’s currently living in our dining room, but once we’ve sorted all the junk in our garage we’ll put it in there. We use it if we want to do any messy play activities – anything with water or food etc. It’s also useful if you want to contain toys a little bit. We have a big paddling pool but when we want to do some quick water play indoors (or outdoors if we’re too lazy to get the big pool out) it’s so handy.
Here are some activities for babies aged six to nine months using the Tuff Tray and things around your house:
Water – Just water, simple! Phoebe plays in the Tuff Tray with water for up to an hour sometimes and doesn’t get bored at all, she just loves splashing).
Jelly – Phoebe didn’t like the jelly, but I know lots of kids do. Just a sugar-free packet will do. Prepare it and plonk it in front of them either in a bowl or directly onto the tray, and see what they do with it.
Spaghetti – I once made far too much spaghetti so I just plopped Phoebe on the tuff tray with it and she played with it for a while. I’ve seen lots of people use some food colouring to make this a bit more fun.
Cereal play – This one really does get messy but you can get some dry cereal and pop it into pots or bowls around the tray to encourage your baby to explore. Try different textures and tastes. You can also add in some kitchen utensils with this activity.
Muffin tray with bubbles – We’ve done this one a few times and Phoebe loves it. We just put a squirt of baby bubbles in each section of a muffin tray, then pour in some warm water. We then pop it onto the tray with Phoebe, and she’ll spend a while playing with the water and bubbles in each space. Then she’ll tip the whole thing up!
Phoebe loved the foil blanket at Baby Sensory (when we were allowed to go) so I purchased one from Amazon… of course when we were in our own home she absolutely hated it. As she got older, she was always trying to pull the baby wipes out of the packet, so I used an empty packet and filled it up with cut up squares of the blanket. She spends ages pulling them all out and playing with it.
This one took a bit more preparation, but it has been quite successful in getting Phoebe to move around (she still can’t crawl, and still doesn’t really roll over! So it’s been a challenge that’s for sure). I found the idea on A Crafty LIVing’s Instagram, and adapted it slightly.
Simply get a big piece of cardboard and cut circles of varying sizes out of it. Fill the holes with different materials and textures. We used a flannel (leave the tag accessible), wrapping paper, a foil blanket, a bath grip, bubble wrap, and a gift bag (leave the handle accessible). We also attached some straws and ribbons to it using tape.
Follow me on Instagram for more activity ideas as I discover them.
Best Baby Toys 6 to 9 Months
All of the above homemade activities, but let’s face it it’s much more straightforward to buy some new toys. I have tried to limit this as much as possible because I don’t want to end up with an overload, but there have been some firm favourites for Phoebe at six to nine months, and I think they’ll continue to be favourites for a while yet.
Eggs – £8, Argos (available as part of 2 for £15 deal)
These are a classic that have already grown with her. When she was six months old she would just get all of the eggs out and want us to put them back in, but now she gets them out, squeaks them, tried to put them back herself, plays with the box, hits them together, puts the tops back on them. They have some matching games that she won’t be able to do just yet so there’s still more to come from these.
Cups – £3.99, Smyths (ours were from Argos but they no longer sell them)
Another classic and a really cheap one at that is a set of stacking cups. Phoebe has loved these and has played with them every day, sometimes using them as drums, other times putting things in them or rolling them around.
Xylophone Crocodile – £10, Argos, (2 for £15)
This was Phoebe’s first musical instrument and as soon as she figured out she could make sounds with it, she was obsessed.
Tool Box – £9, Argos (2 for £15)
Phoebe is definitely too young for the tool box, but she loves it anyway. She uses the hammer to hit everything in sight, and loves taking all of the tools out and putting them back in. She will eventually learn to use the tools on the nuts and bolts.
This swing was a brilliant purchase, in fact it was a gift from my mum. Whenever we can, we’ll spend a while outside on the swing and Phoebe will smile from ear to ear the whole time she’s in the swing. She squeals with pure joy and wants to go even higher!
Best Baby Books 6 – 9 Months
Phoebe is obsessed with reading. She absolutely loves books, and will even play with them for ages by herself. She chatters away as if we she is reading the words, and she can say ‘books’ now. She can’t say much else, only cat and yum at the moment, but books is a pretty great first word if you ask me.
Her favourites are actually from the Usbourne Very First Words collection. She’s a bit too young to be learning the first words from them, but for some reason she will play with these for ages every day, and loves when we read them to her.
Oh Dear! by Rodd Campbell – £6, Amazon
This is a favourite, because she has completely mastered lifting the flaps. It’ll teach her about animals, where they live and the noises they make, too.
Pop Up Peekaboo Under The Sea – £6, Amazon
Another favourite is Pop Up Peekaboo Under The Sea, which we’ve now read to her more times than I can count. The pop up pages are really high quality and easy for her to open up. Just watch out for their grabby hands on the pop up bits – we’ve had to glue some casualties back together!
One last thing
Muslin Sleeping Bag – £22, JoJo Maman Bebe
One last thing I want to mention is the Muslin Sleeping Bags from JoJo Maman Bebe. It has been so incredibly hot over the past few weeks but Phoebe hates sleeping in just a vest, so we’ve been putting her in this with just a nappy on and she seems to be much more cosy. It’s perfect for these summer nights and will last right through until she is 18 months old.
What has your baby been loving at this age?