It's all about movement now - rolling, sitting, climbing, and crawling! Toys and play time should encourage movement.
Larger, soft rubber balls are great for chewing on as well as chasing.
Toys that can be used as "walkers" (the baby can hold onto while walking).
Jumpers and exersaucers are great for encouraging moving (and wearing out some energy!)
Food play is fun at this stage. Let them dip their fingers or a baby cracker into some apple sauce or yoghurt, then eat it. This will encourage independence, and fine motor skills. Just never leave your babies along when eating due to chocking hazards.
As baby reaches 12 months:
look for toys that will also encourage imaginative play - a doll house, big building blocks, baby dolls, puppets, etc
Sit on the floor with them and have some "pretend time" - create a puppet show, pretend to fix something, etc. Don't worry about looking or feeling silly. Your toddler will just enjoy your time together, and the more animated you are, the more they will enjoy it.
Music: music should be played around your baby from day one, but now is a good time to introduce a music class, or musical instruments (shakers seem to be very popular at this age). Encourage some movement as well for play time, or sit in a dimly lit room, for quiet room. Have "music time" or a "music circle" (sitting with your child singing songs together).
Photo credit: Reese Praying before Legos by Donnie Ray Jones via Flickr
Dedicated blogs by our special guest bloggers speaking out about various topics focusing around parenthood, family and business.