Teaching with Toys and Speech

Between 7 and 9 months of age, most babies start to become mobile, and their physical abilities develop rapidly. While all babies grow at different rates, at this age most children also increase their awareness of people and surroundings.

Encouraging Speech

To foster verbal skills, try the following:

  • When talking to your baby, pause and wait for a response, just as you would when talking with an adult.

  • Name common objects when you show them to your baby.

  • Make a variety of sounds with your mouth and tone of voice.

  • Repeat and expand the sounds your baby makes. For example, say “ma-ma” when your baby says “ma.”

  • Show picture books and read stories to your baby every day.

Toys to Boost Learning

Playtime is another chance for your baby to learn. To help your baby develop new skills, choose toys that:

  • Have objects or knobs to push, poke, or turn

  • Stack or nest

  • Make noises when shaken or hit

Play pat-a-cake and peek-a-boo with your child. Build a tower and demonstrate how to knock it down. And play in front of a mirror, calling your baby by name and pointing to your baby’s reflection.

This is also the first age when you can start offering your baby a cup. And, maintain a routine for bath and bedtime so your baby gets used to having a schedule.


Online Medical Reviewer: Louise Jovino, DO

Date Last Reviewed: 4/2/2010

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