|My Little Trampoline
It's no secret that kids love to jump on beds. Actually, babies do too, and it's a perfect way for little ones to build lower-body strength and learn to control their wobbly legs.
Appropriate for: 7 to 15 months
Skills developed: Standing, walking
What you'll need: A bed with a springy mattress
Stand your baby upright in the middle of the bed, carefully supporting him with your hands holding both sides. Help him bounce up and down, lifting him off the bed, then landing him in a standing position. If your baby is already walking, you may be able to just hold his hands, once he gets used to the springy motion of the bed.
Another fun game: Have him sit on the bed with his legs out in front of him and gently bounce the bed with your hands while crouching in front of him so he can't fall off.
This crawl-over-the-adults game is a great way to help your baby build upper body strength. And it's great for family bonding, too. It will get you laughing as loudly as your baby.
Appropriate for: 7 months to 1 year
Skills developed: Gross motor
What you'll need: Two adults
Lie on the floor next to your partner or another adult and challenge your baby to crawl over you. Leave a little room between you so that she can crawl first over one adult and then another. As she's crawling over you, wiggle a little and pretend that she's tickling you. And if she gets caught between you, move toward each other and gently "squish" her, or give her a little tickle. The opportunity to use a grown-up as an obstacle course is one no crawler can resist.
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