How do I entertain my 6-month-old? you ask. Well, for many 6-month-old baby activities, all you need is a few everyday household objects, a sense of fun, and a little imagination.
With that in mind, we’ve put together ten ideas for 6-month-old baby games and activities great for learning and development.
But they’re also ideal for helping you bond with your little one.
As you do these things together, you’re building a relationship to last a lifetime.
Before we dive into how to entertain a 6-month-old, though, let’s take a look at the milestones your little one might be hitting around this point.
In this article: 📝
- What can most babies do at 6 months?
- How often should I play with my 6-month-old?
- 10 fun learning activities for 6-month-old babies
What can most babies do at 6 months?
Every baby is different, but there are some skills your 6-month-old may start getting a handle on now.
Let’s explore them one by one:
What motor skills should a 6-month-old have?
Motor skills in development are the movements that help your growing child perform everyday tasks.
We’re talking everything from feeding themselves (as messy as that may be) to moving around (eep).
And, of course, top of the list is playing.
Not every baby will reach these milestones at the same time, but some key motor skills include:
Reaching using both arms
Grasping and holding onto objects (finger food time!)
Bringing objects up to their mouth
Learning to pick up one object while holding another
What gross skills should a 6-month-old have?
These are the movements that require major muscle skills – this is the energy factor of childhood.
Gross skills cover kicking, jumping, hand-eye coordination, and – deep breath – climbing!
Don’t worry, you still have some time.
For now, your 6-month-old is likely:
- Rolling over
- Sliding a short way on their tummy (hello tummy time!)
- Pulling themselves from sitting to standing
- Sitting without support
- Supporting their own head when sitting
What are examples of social skills in babies?
Movement is only half the engagement.
During this period, your baby is taking their first steps of relating to others, building bonds, and developing emotional intelligence.
You may start to notice them:
- Recognizing familiar faces
- Gabbling, waving, nodding, and smiling
- Copying facial expressions
- Showing signs of wanting to engage
- Responding to their name
- Enjoying their reflection (who can blame them!)
How often should I play with my 6-month-old?
With so much development happening for your little one, you may be wondering how to best use their wake windows.
The best way to frame playtime is to look at it as crucial development time.
With every interaction you share, baby is picking up vital information.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), play is the space where children gain cognitive, emotional, physical, and social well-being
So much so that play has been recognized as a fundamental human right for every child.
And when you see the benefits of playing with your baby, it makes absolute sense:
- Maintains mental and physical health
- Improves dexterity
- Helps develop imagination and creative thinking
- Strengthens physical, cognitive, and emotional abilities
- Social development through group work, sharing, and resolving
- Teaches self-advocacy
- Fosters decision-making and problem solving
- Increases awareness
- Builds self-confidence
Playing also sets the stage for future group learning to come.
As for how long you should spend playing, there is no one-size-fits-all answer (is there ever in pregnancy and parenthood?).
There will never be too much, in fact, the more time, the better is your best answer.
The AAP recommends parents promote ample free play that is child-driven rather than adult-directed.
In other words, feel free to let your baby explore new objects and their surroundings (under your watchful eye, of course) rather than just relying on toys and screens alone.
As for interactive play, you can try any of the activities below.
10 fun learning activities for 6-month-old babies
In other words, how do I entertain my 6-month-old?
There are all kinds of activities and games you can use to entertain your 6-month-old.
From singing and stories to bubbles and bathtubs, here are some fun options to inspire you.
It’s never too early to start reading to your baby.
For a 6-month-old, choose colorful picture books you can look at together.
As well as reading the words aloud (with funny voices, obviously), you can point at the different images and name them: “There is a bear.” or “Can you see the turtle?”
Encourage your baby to touch the pictures and help you turn the pages.
When you read aloud or talk to your baby, you’re helping lay the foundation for their language development and listening skills.
And the vibrant images will help stimulate their visual senses.
2. Tug of war
This is a fun game that will help develop your baby’s grip strength.
Take a string made of soft, natural fibers (such as a length of colorful wool yarn) and encourage your baby to hold one end of it in their hand.
Then tug on the other end yourself.
If your baby lets go of their end of the string, gently prompt them to hold it again and pull it toward themselves.
Soon you’ll be playing tug of war like champions.
Not only is this great for your baby’s grip, but it also helps teach their muscles to respond to a force.
Simple, yet effective.
One of the best-known activities for 6-month-old babies, this one never goes out of style.
There are so many different variations of this activity, but they’re all about helping your baby develop their sense of object permanence (where they understand that something still exists even though they can’t see it).
Put a blanket over your head (or hide behind something) and say, “Where’s mama?” Then slowly emerge and cry, “Peek-a-boo!” And repeat…
Once they get the hang of what’s happening, your baby will love it.
A true classic.
What do 6-month-old babies play with?
Anything that makes a noise is sure to be a favorite.
And you’re not restricted to 6-month-old baby toys – household objects make great musical instruments.
So why not see if you’ve got a future band member on your hands by improvising a drum session?
Give your baby an upturned cooking pot and show them how to hit it with a wooden spoon.
Not only lots of fun but very useful for developing fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
You could even grab your own pot and join in…
One of the most rewarding things to do with a 6-month-old baby is to sing to them.
Like reading, it’s great for your baby’s language development, and it also stimulates their sense of hearing.
You can even make up your own songs – simple ones with lots of rhymes are great.
Or sing to your baby about what you’re doing: taking a bath, making lunch, getting on the bus.
So many possibilities.
6. Beautiful bubbles
This is an activity you can do with a friend or partner, perhaps during a picnic on a sunny day.
Sit your baby down and ask the other adult to blow some bubbles near enough so your baby can see them easily.
Point to the bubbles and encourage your baby to look at them.
Hopefully, they’ll start to follow the bubbles with their eyes.
This is really helpful for their visual development and powers of concentration.
7. Shake the container
What you’ll need:
- A clear plastic container (such as an old soda bottle)
- Dry rice or pasta
- Masking tape
Fill the container with the rice or pasta, replace the lid, and tape it up securely.
Then gently shake it near your baby.
Wait for them to get interested in the sound the container makes and the sight of the contents moving around.
Then you can try giving the container to them so they can shake it themselves (it’s best to supervise this, just to make 100% sure nothing leaks from the bottle).
This activity helps your baby understand cause and effect as they realize that the container’s sound and movement are connected.
8. Bathtime is splash-time
Bathtime can be a whole lot of fun once your baby is starting to sit up without support.
Sit them in the tub (supporting them if necessary) and pop in some bath toys.
Gently guide them to hold a toy and splash it in the water.
Repeat this until your baby works out how to do it themselves.
Sitting in the tub like this will help strengthen your baby’s lower back, and the splashing will develop their physical dexterity.
Colorful stacking toys like blocks, cups, or rings can be a great source of entertainment for 6-month-old babies.
First, demonstrate to your baby how you stack one block on top of another.
Then encourage them to hold a block and guide their hand so they can stack it.
They might be a little young to stack the blocks on their own at this point.
But they’ll really enjoy grabbing them (and putting them in their mouth).
A good activity for grasping practice and hand-eye coordination.
10. Clap your hands
Around the 6 month mark, your baby might be learning to clap for the first time.
And they love it.
You mean I can make a ton of noise just by hitting my hands together? Yes, please!
You can help them start clapping by holding their hands in yours and moving them back and forward, showing them how it makes a sound.
Combine clapping with a rhyme or a song for extra fun and sensory stimulation.
Ready to get started with some of these activities? Grab your baby and give them a go!
Prepping for next month? Check out our favorite activities for 7-month-old babies.
Don’t forget to share your top baby activities with the mamas on Peanut!