Ages 9-12 Months

Following are information, activities and resource links for the five main areas of development for children ages 9-12 months old.

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5 Areas of Development


Communication Skills

  • Beginning to respond to “no”
  • Responds to his/her name being called
  • Understands familiar words and commands
  • Babbles in phrases that sound like short
  • Explores making new sounds/words (mama,
    dada, baba)
  • Beginning to repeat a few words

Fine Motor Skills

  • Picks up things like cereal o’s between thumb and
  • May pull open drawers and cabinet doors
  • Transfers objects easily from hand to hand

Gross Motor Skills

  • Babies at this age are constantly in motion and
    like to move, be sure to baby proof your house
  • Stands alone even for a few seconds
  • Stoops to pick up a toy, returns to standing
    position without falling down
  • Takes a few steps with or without support

Personal Social Skills

  • Shows fear of strangers, may experience
    separation anxiety
  • Has a favorite toy or lovie, may use object to
    comfort self
  • Imitates the activities of others in play
  • Offer a spoon at dinner time, but it will be faster
    for baby to use hands to feed self

Problem Solving Skills

  • Interested in how things work
  • Knows an object or person is still there even
    though baby cannot see it
  • Likes to play show-off games such as “so big”


Communication Activities

  • Ask your baby to point to body parts
  • Hide a toy while baby is watching, help them find toy
  • Name items your baby points to/interacts with
  • Encourage imitating sounds (animal sounds, tongue
    clicking, babbling, singing)
  • Praise baby when they attempt to communicate
    through pointing, gestures, new sounds/words

Fine Motor Activities

  • Encourage play with bathtub toys, provide pouring
    utensils and sponges
  • Show baby how to stack large blocks or tower rings
  • Allow baby to play in the kitchen while you cook,
    provide plastic containers, lids, spoons, and objects
    that will not break
  • Finger foods are more successful at this time, start
    to offer a spoon for baby to use

Gross Motor Activities

  • Provide push or pull toys for baby to play with
  • Roll a ball to baby, encourage rolling or tossing back
    to you, start with a large ball and then offer balls in
    smaller sizes, avoid balls that are too small to put in
    mouth to avoid choking
  • While baby is standing, put toy on the floor to
    encourage baby to bend over and pick up
  • Provide opportunities for crawling and pulling up, use
    objects like pillows and boxes to explore

Personal Social and Problem Solving Activities

  • Allow baby to join in your family’s meals for a short
    time, sitting close by to engage with family
  • Offer a small plastic cup with a small amount of
    water for baby to learn to hold and drink, may want to
    offer cup outside or in bathtub since much of liquid
    will be spilled
  • Encourage your baby to pull off own socks and
  • Introduce games/songs with actions for baby to
    imitate you