Things to Do with your Ten Month Old: Bouncy Balls

by yooeel

Let me start off by saying I’m no expert on babies.  In fact, I’ve only been a mum for 13 months so far.  So it probably comes as no surprise to find out that the first pearl from my font of wisdom is ‘play with a ball with your child’.

I spend a large portion of my time while Baby is ignoring me in favour of his favourite plastic eggcup, worrying that I’m not stimulating him enough, that he might be getting bored of our games, or that I should somehow improve his games on a weekly basis to play catch up with his mental development.  Of course, parents have been playing with their children long before the arrival of baby books and mum blogs, and doing just fine.  However, there is something to be said for using those resources, or even just swapping ideas with other parents, and getting fresh ideas to pad out that looong stretch between afternoon nap and bedtime.

So in that spirit of swapping ideas, non-expert mum to non-expert mum, I’ll be giving a regular insight into what Baby and I are doing in our playtimes and how this will hopefully, help him to learn and grow too.  Apologies if this first post is very simplistic, but this idea of introducing a ball to Baby was one of those ‘well, duh!’ suggestions that really made me wonder why I’d spent so long panicking about how to introduce my one year old to papier-mache and shadow puppets.

Before I start, let me also say that Baby was a little prem, so although he’s one, we’re still thinking around the ten-month-old stage, hence the title of this post.

  • Keep it simple: This is one of those ideas that doesn’t need the latest bells and whistles technology.  We got a cheap plastic bouncy ball from Wilkinsons.  We’re also on the lookout for a miniature rugby ball (at hubby’s insistence) and will be getting a spongy ball once Baby is less for biting and swallowing little parts.
  • Rolling back and fore: If your baby is sitting up, the easiest game would be rolling it between the two of you.  Baby really quickly got the idea that he could push it back towards us.  This worked on his hand-eye co-ordination, and tied in with his favourite trick at the moment, which is imitating our actions.
  • Kicking: If your baby can be held upright, or is standing on their own, teach them to kick the ball – how far can it go?
  • Textures, shapes and sizes: How does a tennis ball feel compared to a beach ball?  If your baby drops them from standing, what do they both do?
  • Exercise balls: Baby loves getting on top of a big, inflatable exercise ball, of the kind you may have left over from your pregnancy.  I hold him (very carefully!) on his belly, flat out on the ball, and he rolls from side to side and forward and back.  He gets a sense of movement, a different point of view, and it plays with his feelings of balance.

So there you have it – this is what we’ve been doing with balls this week.  But I’d love to hear your ideas – so what are your favourite games to play with your baby?  And what more difficult ball-games are your toddlers or older babies able to play?  

Leave me a comment and let me know.