Ten months is such a fun age! Babies at this age are learning so much and starting to really show their personality. They are getting more curious and more mobile all the time! Your 10-month-old is so close to their first birthday, which might be hard to believe!
In order to help your 10 month old reach various developmental milestones, you need to know two things. You need to know what is expected at this age, and how you can assist. It’s a good idea to have a variety of fun activities for your 10 month old. It can be hard to know what to do, but look no further! I have plenty of fun activities that will help your child learn and grow!
Developmental Milestones at 10 Months
Fine Motor Skills
Fine motor skills are the things we do with our fingers and hands. Although your baby is only 10 months, they are starting to work more and more with their hands. You might notice them grabbing more toys, food, or your hand!
Skills to look for:
- Pincer grasp (using the thumb and pointer finger to pick things up)
- Putting things into a container
- Banging blocks or other toys together
- Hand-eye coordination
Gross Motor Skills
Gross motor skills are the big movements we all do, like running, jumping, and throwing a ball. As babies, some of the basic forms of these skills are beginning to emerge. You used to be able to put your little one down in one spot, and they would stay there. But not anymore! They are on the move!
Skills to look for:
- Independent sitting
- Pulling up to standing
- Creeping or crawling
- Scooting around furniture
- Rolling a ball
Cognitive abilities are how your child thinks and problem-solves. Baby’s brains grow SO MUCH in the first year! They are learning new things about themselves, others, and the world around them all the time!
Skills to look for:
- Object permanence (knowing something exists even when it is hidden)
- Early imitation
- Movement to music
- Object recognition
It’s so amazing to watch your child grow and develop their language. They will start with being able to understand more and more of what you say. Eventually, they will start talking on their own, too.
Skills to look for:
- Imitates some sounds
- May say first word or words
- Using different consonants (h, w, y, b, p, m)
- Simple gestures (waving, shaking head no)
- Makes happy sounds and sad sounds
Social skills refer to how children interact with others. Even though your little one seems small, they are already learning how to interact with others.
Skills to look for:
- Facial expressions
- Some stranger danger
- Reacts when told “no”
- Waves “bye”
It might seem like you can’t “play” much with 10-month-old babies, but that’s just not the case!
There are a number of simple activities that are fun and help your child learn new skills in all developmental areas.
Some people think it’s too early to read to a baby that can’t yet talk, and doesn’t seem to understand much, but reading to your child is SUCH a good idea for so many reasons!
When you read to your baby, you are bonding with them, helping them understand new words, and laying the groundwork for saying their first words.
It’s also a great way they can work on fine motor skills like pointing and page-turning.
Choosing books for babies that have various textures and colors is best for engaging your baby.
You don’t have to read every single word if you don’t want to! Just talk to your baby about the pictures and make it fun.
Use various pitches in your voice, and let your baby help with the book by turning pages.
Check out my article on how to choose books for babies and toddlers here!
Sing nursery rhymes
Nursery rhymes are classic for a reason! They are a great way to engage with your 10-month-old baby!
One study suggests that infants that are frequently sung to have increased language and vocabulary skills at age two.
Here is a great list of good nursery rhymes and simple songs you can use with your baby.
- The Wheels on the Bus
- 5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed
- The Itsy Bitsy Spider
- Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes
- Jesus Loves Me
- Old McDonald Had a Farm
- The Ants Go Marching
- Mary Had a Little Lamb
- Baa, Baa Black Sheep
- This Little Light of Mine
- Row, Row, Row Your Boat
- It’s Raining, It’s Pouring
For more information on why singing to babies and toddlers is so great, check out my article.
Make up a song with baby’s name
One skill that babies should have by 10 months is the ability to recognize their own names.
A fun way to help them learn their name is to make up a little song about them with their name in the lyrics.
You can completely make up your own song, or you can borrow from popular songs.
Think about the song “Hey There Delilah”, “Sweet Caroline”, “Hey Jude”, or “Come on Eileen”. Replace the name in the song with your child’s name and sing it to them as often as you like.
They will love you singing to them and it can help them learn their name. It’s a win/win!
If you like to make up songs (I sure do!) then you can make up your own song about your child.
Another great activity you can do to work on your baby’s development is to play with stacking cups. I love these things!
They are great for working on object permanence because you can hide little trinkets in them and help your baby find them.
You can also stack them up and have your baby knock them down.
All of my kids have been highly motivated by the tower of stacking cups, and often tried to reach for them, or even crawl to them from afar. So if your child is still working on crawling at 10 months, you can try setting up a nice, big tower of cups!
Check out these great stacking cups here.
Peek-a-boo is a simple, classic baby game. Start by getting in front of your baby. Then, hide behind your hands, under a blanket, or just out of baby’s sight and pop out and say “peek-a-boo!”.
This classic, simple game is perfect for working on social skills and object permanence.
You also might get some good giggles and a lovely bonding experience, too!
Babies LOVE to play with various containers! It is a great way for them to explore how things work.
Give them various containers like stacking cups (yep, they are multi-purpose!), bowls, oatmeal or yogurt containers, boxes, and whatever else you can come up with.
Small objects can easily go in the containers including blocks, squishy balls, snacks (like Cheerios or puffs), or small figurines (not anything breakable of course!). Just be sure that the items are big enough that your child can’t fit the whole thing in their mouth.
Let your child go at their own pace while they take objects in and out of the containers.
Container play is also a great time for you to help your child learn independent play. You don’t need to be right next to them the whole time they are playing with the objects. Let them explore on their own, as you are nearby and can help if needed.
“How big is _____?”
Another fun game for 10 month olds is playing “How big is _____?”.
This simple, social game is a fun way to interact with your baby.
Use a sing-songy voice and say “How big is (baby’s name)? How big is (baby’s name)? So big!” When you say “so big”, help your child put their arms straight up next to their ears to indicate “so big”.
If you practice enough times with your baby, they will be able to put their hands up overhead on their own.
This activity works on name recognition, social interactions, language skills, and gross motor development.
Hide and seek with a communication twist
Playing hide and seek with your baby can be super fun, and it’s an excellent way to practice simple words. It’s easiest to play with at least two others since your 10-month-old doesn’t truly understand the concept.
Have one adult hide, and have the other adult stay with the baby. (No need for anyone to close their eyes at this age!) After the first adult has hidden, start calling out for them. Use the same phrase as you look for them, like “Where is mommy?” or “Daddy, where are you?”.
Once you find them, say, “hi” or call them by name. You can focus on your baby’s communication skills by using just one word, so they can more easily repeat it.
Next time you play, use the same phrase or phrases (like mom or dad). This repetition will help them understand the words and be more likely to say them!
Babies at this age are starting to learn more about playing with a ball. This skill helps with hand-eye coordination and gross motor skills.
They certainly can’t catch a ball or throw accurately. However, it’s a great idea to roll a ball with them.
Get your baby in the sitting position on the floor. Sit facing them, and softly roll the ball in between their legs. Encourage them to roll it back by helping them push it to you.
Make sure to praise them for trying by cheering them on when they do it! (You can do simple things like say, “yay baby!” and clap.)
I love these small packs of balls that have a wide variety of textures for your baby and are soft and squishy.
Interact with an activity table
Activity tables are a great way for your baby to work on a variety of skills.
Most activity tables have a place where your baby can work on standing, sitting, or even tummy time. It’s a toy that really grows with them!
Activity tables often have various parts that help your baby develop their problem-solving skills, too, like doors that have to be opened and closed, or shape sorters.
I love this activity table because it has lots of great ways for your baby to play.
Another simple activity is playing tickle monster. Tickling is amazing for a few reasons: you can bond with your baby, and you can hear those sweet giggles!
Your baby also learns to anticipate what’s coming next when you play the tickle game over and over.
One of the best ways to play tickle monster starts with your baby lying on their back. Then put your hand right above their belly where they can see it. Choose a phrase to say like “tickle tickle” or “I’m gonna get you”.
After you give your baby a good tickle, raise your hand back up and say the same words again. This creates repetition and helps your baby anticipate what’s coming next.
Sometimes your baby will start to laugh before you even deliver a tickle! It’s so sweet!
As much as I love playing tickle monster, my husband loves it even more. As my kids continue to get older, they still absolutely love Daddy, the tickle monster!
Blocks are so fun for a wide age range. At 10 months your baby can do a few different things with them.
You can stack the blocks up to make a big tower that your little one knocks down.
Or your baby might want to bang some blocks together, which is actually an important skill in your child’s development.
Your child will also likely love putting blocks in their mouth, which is very normal and healthy at this age.
Let your baby play with the blocks on their own sometimes, too. This builds some independence and lets them explore.
You can get all kinds of different blocks, too. You might prefer the classic wooden blocks, or go for the squishy blocks. Either type is great! Just make sure your blocks aren’t too small, so they won’t be a choking hazard.
Pop-up and “Hi”
Another great toy for this age is a pop-up toy. Babies love this toy, and they learn from it, too!
Pop-up toys teach children cause and effect. When they push the button, something pops up.
Additionally, babies have to use some cognitive skills to figure out the different kinds of levers and buttons that make the toy pop.
At this age, babies are learning about themselves and others. Babies love looking at faces! Recognizing and enjoying looking at your own reflection is actually an important part of emotional development.
When your baby looks at your face in the mirror, they are learning some basic social skills, too!
All you have to do is hold your baby up to a mirror or give them a handheld mirror. It’s that simple!
When you choose to do some mirror play, either do it with your baby next to a glass mirror or get a baby-friendly mirror.
Bath Time Fun
The bath is an incredibly fun spot for your baby to experience sensory play.
They get to be in the water while splashing, kicking, and playing.
Some of the best toys for the bath are buckets and spoons. Let your baby “stir” the water with different spoons. Or you can give your baby a variety of containers to fill up and pour out. They will even enjoy watching you fill up and dump the water.
Add bubbles or more toys for some extra fun or a new experience.
Make a band
Another fun activity is helping your child discover new and different sounds by making “bands” with kitchen utensils.
Making your own band will help your child with fine motor skills and cause and effect. Your child will also get to explore different kinds of sounds, all while having a blast!
Get out the pots, pans, wooden spoons, and anything you can think of! Although you should definitely stay away from the breakable stuff!
Let your child bang away on the different instruments so they can create a variety of sounds. The best way to set this up is to put tons of different options out and show them a few ways to play with all of the items you have set out. Bang a spoon on a bowl, and then bang it on the floor. It’s going to get loud, but they are going to have SO MUCH FUN!
Hopefully, you have found tons of great ways for you and your baby to play. You can have a good time together, and work on baby milestones!
Let me know what you like to do best with your 10 month old in the comments!