Games to Play with Your 8-Month-Old Baby

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At around 8 months, babies seem to suddenly become more active, curious, and social. They are just realising that there is a whole world around them. This makes it the perfect time to engage their skills through play. Interactive games are a great way to build key developmental areas while strengthening your parent-child connection.

By 8 months, your little one will be learning to sit up, scoot, and grab. You may be surprised by just how mobile they are getting all of a sudden! You want to support this newfound movement with games that enhance physical abilities. While at it, don’t neglect emotional, social, language, and problem-solving skills. Paying attention to everything will ensure comprehensive learning and development.

Let’s look at some examples of games to play with your 8-month-old across key development categories.

Gross Motor Skills Games

  • Assisted standing – Hold hands and gently pull baby up to standing. Support under arms as needed.
  • Rocking/bouncing – Sit with legs out. Place baby facing you and hold waist while rocking back and forth.
  • Rolling across lap – Lay baby across knees on tummy, hold torso while gently rolling left and right.
  • Dancing – Hold upright supporting feet to stand. Play music and sway together to the beat.
  • Crawling obstacle course – Create a soft crawling track and cheer your little one’s efforts!

Fine Motor Skill Games

Pick-up puffs – Scatter small finger foods like Little Bellies puffs for 7+ months babies for your little one to grasp and safely self-feed. This is a very important skill to develop! Read here why.

  • Fill and dump buckets – Use containers for dropping toys in and taking them out.
  • Passing game – Roll balls back and forth. Your baby will inevitably miss, so be sure to help retrieve misses while still keeping up the enthusiasm.
  • Splashing tubs – Allow pouring from cups and splashing during bath time.
  • Highlight toys – Shine a flashlight beam on various objects then have your little one grasp them as you highlight each one.

Playing with food is a wonderful way to help build motor skills. More on this in our article Playing With Food Benefits: Developing Fine & Gross Motor Skills.

Language Building Games

  • Picture book reading – Label images, characters, and actions on pages. In the beginning, you’ll do the labelling, but over time, let your little one take over.
  • Puppet shows – Have stuffed animals talk to each other and your baby.
  • Sing songs – Gesture motions to Itsy Bitsy Spider or other rhyming tunes.
  • Mirror talking – Describe facial expressions and objects while engaging with reflection.
  • Making sounds – Have stuffed toys make animal sounds. Encourage your baby to imitate.

Cognitive Development Games

  • Peek-a-boo – Hide face behind hands then open wide while saying “peekaboo!”
  • Search tasks – Show baby a favorite toy then hide under blankets for them to pull back and find. Swap hiding spots.
  • Matching shapes – Guide placing cubes, balls, etc. in matching holes of toddler busy box.
  • Knock down towers – Build small block towers and let baby swat down. Build back up again for repetition.
  • Pop-up toys – Allow baby to press levers and buttons making exciting motions happen. React with encouraging oohs and ahhs.

Emotional Development Games

  • Chase games – Crawl after baby for giggles. Let them “get away” and then tickle when caught.
  • Mirror faces – Make happy, sad, and surprised expressions together in a mirror. Name the emotions.
  • Babble back and forth – Respond to coos with exaggerated melodic sounds.
  • Imitate play – Stick out your tongue for your little one to copy. Do raspberries or other silly behaviours for your baby to model. Laugh together.
  • Massages – Rub gently baby’s arms, legs, back, and tummy.

How to Play with an 8-Month Baby

As you can see, playing with your 8-month-old involves interactive and sensory-rich activities. Engage in simple games that encourage exploration and stimulate their developing senses. From peek-a-boo to sensory play, make each moment an opportunity for connection.

Consider playing daily games in short 5-10-minute sessions. This will nurture amazing development leaps. Tap into your baby’s interests and emerging abilities to guide joint play. Most importantly, follow their cues and keep it fun!

Remember, these interactive games are designed to promote your baby’s mobility, learning, and imagination. For you, try to enjoy the magical two-way connection you are getting during these precious months!

Handling Challenging Behaviours During Play

  • Managing Hitting: Gently redirect your baby’s hands towards soft toys or your hands. Gradually, they’ll learn appropriate ways to explore and engage.
  • Addressing Screaming for Fun: If your baby screams during play, stay calm and respond with a soothing voice. Offer comfort and slowly introduce quieter activities to shift their focus.

Final Thoughts

While this is a pretty big list of games you can play with your 8-month-old, it does not include all the games that babies can enjoy at this age. Do not be afraid to create your own games based on your baby’s interests and abilities. The most important thing is to have fun, be playful, and follow your baby’s cues.

So take advantage of this opportunity to play with your little one as you nurture their development. Embrace the joy of discovery and cherish the precious moments of laughter and connection!

More play-with-food game ideas in our Play with Food Guide from Simone Emery.