Ages 9-15 Months

Following are information, activities and resource links for the five main areas of development for infants ages 9-15 months old. Download a print-friendly version of this page >

Communication Skills

  • Babbles in short phrases that sound like sentences
  • May begin saying “mama” and “dada”
  • Understands “no,” but may not always obey

Fine Motor Skills

  • Holds small object between thumb and index finger (pincer grasp)
  • Marks on paper with crayon
  • Puts three or more objects into a container
  • Builds tower of two cubes
  • Drinks from cup/feeds self with spoon

Gross Motor Skills

  • Stands alone
  • Walks without support
  • Stoops and recovers (a toy or object)

Personal Social Skills

  • Holds a cup and drinks with help
  • Prefers primary caregiver over others
  • Feeds self small bites
  • Shows anxiety when separated from caregivers

Problem Solving Skills: 9-12 months

  • Finds toys hidden under boxes
  • Imitates actions from memory
  • Uses objects by function (phone to ear)
  • shows interest in picture books

Communication Activities: Infants

  • Imitate the sounds your baby makes
  • Make different faces with baby
  • Sing to baby
  • Play social games (pat-a-cake and peek-a-boo)

Communication Activities: Toddlers

  • Do fingerplays/simple songs/nursery rhymes
  • Look at books with simple pictures: point to and name pictures
  • Encourage your child’s attempts at talking with praise
  • Offer choices and encourage your child to use words to choose
  • Name what child sees and describe their actions
  • Add one more word to what your child says
  • Talk about what you are doing and what your child is doing

Fine Motor Activities: Infants

  • Offer your baby a rattle to hold
  • Let your baby feel many different textures
  • Teach your baby to pick up small objects by offering small bits of food

Fine Motor Activities: Toddlers

  • Show baby how to drop objects into a container
  • Show your baby how to bang two small objects together
  • Show your baby how to find a toy by pulling a cloth or blanket off a partly hidden toy
  • Encourage playing with blocks and nesting toys

Gross Motor Activities: Infants

  • Allow for “tummy time” several times a day
  • Hold your baby in sitting positions and while baby is standing
  • Encourage your baby to roll over

Gross Motor Activities: Toddlers

  • Play ball with your child
  • Provide push and pull toys for your child
  • Help your child walk up and down stairs
  • Show your child how to swing, climb, kick
  • Provide large muscle activities such as rocking horses, slides, etc.
  • Show your child how to jump, getting both feet off the floor at the same time
  • Provide riding toys for your child
  • Play music and show your child how to swing, clap, and dance to the music

Personal Social Activities: Toddlers

  • Play peek-a-boo
  • Play hide-and-seek with objects
  • Encourage play with puzzles, blocks, nesting toys and drawing materials
  • Provide a variety of toys and activities that require your child to problem solve
  • Play music and sing
  • Read daily to your child

Problem Solving Activities: Infants

  • Allow you infant to feel different textures
  • Provide experiences for your baby to look at a variety of colors, shapes and objects
  • Talk about your babies world
  • Sing to your baby and play music
  • Read daily to your baby

Problem Solving Skills: 12-18 months

  • Plays simple games such as peek-a-boo
  • Likes to take things apart
  • Tries a number of things to activate toy (turns, bangs, pushes button)
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