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More Attention Builders for Little Ones from 6 to 18 Months

6-18 Months

  • Reach out and grasp: from about 6 months, you can shake a rattle within reach of your baby and encourage him to reach out for it.  Let him take it and help him shake it.  Talk to him about the action and the rattle using Parentese.
  • Interactive food books: play food games using board books like the Cheerios Play Book by Lee Wade, M&Ms Counting Book by Barbara McGrath, Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Counting Book, Kellogg’s Fruit Loops Counting Book, Sunmaid Raisins Play Book by Alison Weir, and The Oreo Cookie Counting Book by Catherine Lukas.  Alternatively, you could draw your own pictures on a piece of paper and place cheerios onto the picture to represent the circular parts – e.g. the wheels of the car.
  • Scoop and fill: let you child practice scooping and filling containers with objects such as cheerios.  This is good practice for self-feeding in future.  First model the action, then let your child imitate.  Other similar activities include playing in a sand pit and filling buckets with sand.
  • Hide and find: hide toys behind your back and ask your child where they went.  Encourage your child to look for the toy and praise him for his efforts.
  • Bath time fun: bubbles and toys make bath time fun.  They can form part of a water play activity that your child can engage in.  When your child is older, you can teach him to pour water from one container to another to help him practice the skill.
  • Nifty nesting: using nesting toys, encourage your child to arrange the toys in size order from largest to smallest or vice versa.  You can also arrange the toys by a different characteristic, such as colour.  It is important to note that when introducing the concept of comparing objects, you need to make sure the items are all similar in other respects except for one attribute.  For instance, three silver books that are identical except in size; or three blocks that are identical except for their colour.
  • Matching size and shapes: play a game of find the pair.  For example, show your child three shoes – two which match and one odd one out.  Pick up one of the paired shoes and ask him to find the other half.  You can play this game with other objects.
  • Grocery store hunt: this is a great game to play in the supermarket when you’re getting your groceries as it keeps your child occupied while you get a chore done.  For example, when you get to a familiar isle such as breakfast cereals, you can play “I Spy” – “I spy a box that is orange, has a bee on it, and starts with the letter C.”
  • Shape or colour hunt: play “I Spy” with shapes or colours.  For example, “The ceiling is a square, show me the square ceiling.”  Trace a square in the air.
  • Knock it over: before your child can learn to build a structure, he has to learn how it comes apart.  Using blocks or Lego (Duplo), you can build structures for your child to knock down or take apart.

Attention Builders – Part 1
Attention Builders for 0-6 Months

Published by Shen-Li

SHEN-LI LEE is the author of “Brainchild: Secrets to Unlocking Your Child’s Potential”. She is also the founder of (a website on parenting, education, child development) and (a website on Right Brain Education, cognitive development, and maximising potentials). In her spare time, she blogs on Forty, Fit & Fed, and Back to Basics.

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