Once your baby is sitting, you enter one of the easier phases of parenting – the calm before the storm of a moving toddler.

We asked Occupational Therapist and founder of Play Matters, Emma Gough, to give us her choice of toys for the second six months. Emma advises: “Now that she can sit with her hands free your baby will start to explore the world around her with her hands. She will start to experiment with different grasps. It is important to have objects or toys of different sizes to her to pick up, so she has the opportunity to use big whole hand grasps and small finger pinches. Remember that she is in the oral exploration phase and everything will go into her mouth. Make sure all of the toys your give her are large enough that they can’t fit through a toilet roll to avoid them being a choking hazard. They should be made of material that is non-toxic.”

These are the toys Emma recommends to help you to be prepared-ish to stimulate and occupy your little sitter:

  1. Nesting blocks – These brightly coloured blocks provide hours of exploration and entertainment. While your little one will not be able to stack them for a few more months she will love picking them up (and popping them in her mouth) and bashing down the towers you make for her. The thin rim of the blocks allows her to practice her pincer grip (pinch with her thumb and pointer finger) and the smaller blocks can be picked up with a full fist grasp.
  2. Plastic containers – An empty box, plastic container or pot will keep your little one occupied for hours – give her objects to put in and out – like spoons, lids or pom-poms
  3. Fabric books – Fabric books provide such a variety of movement and learning experiences. She can look at them on the floor which tests her balance going forward. She can hold them with one hand, and they can safely go into her mouth. Some of books on the market have teething chews on the edges. She can hold it with both her hands which challenges her balance skills.
  4. Bead maze – Bead mazes are a great way to allow her to play independently with smaller toys and practice fine pincher grip. They are wonderful for learning cause and effect as they spin when you touch them, and the beads fall when you drop them
  5. Balls – Are great fun and one particularly super ball is an O-Ball – which is a round plastic ball with holes around the sides. These require very little precision when grasping it so she can hold it while concentrating on what her body is doing.

Enjoy this stage of your little one – its gonna get busy soon!

Be Prepared-ish with Babies R Us and their toy range: https://www.babiesrus.co.za/shop-by-department/toys-learning