At 6 months, babies watch surroundings

Published 8:45 am Friday, February 3, 2012

Column: Apryl Gorton, Thrive Initiative

My baby and me

Six months of age is a great time for activities that revolve around naming and observation. At this time, babies begin taking an interest in his or her environment.

Apryl Gorton

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You can use this curiosity to develop people awareness, relationships and vocabulary. When a family member or other familiar person is in the room, ask the baby “Where is (name of person)?”

Encourage the baby to look around the room. Praise the baby when he or she looks at the correct person and accentuate a feature of that person by saying “Good job, Luke. That is Joey. See his red hair!”


A toddler’s special gift

Holidays are important because they help small ones mark time, and give them something special to work toward. The following two items are Valentine gifts that will surely be enjoyed.

Valentines for the birds: You will need bread, a knife, peanut butter, bird seed and a ribbon. First, your child will need help toasting a piece of bread for each valentine. After the bread is toasted, cut into a heart shape, and then string a ribbon through the toast so it can hang. Lastly, have your child spread a small amount of peanut butter on the toast and sprinkle with birdseed. Hang your valentine where the birds will enjoy it.

Loving bookmarks: You will need construction paper, clear contact paper, child safety scissors, old snapshots, hole punch, crayons, stickers and yarn.

Cut construction paper rectangles that are 6 inches by 2 inches long. Allow the child to draw and stick stickers on the paper. Cut out pictures of the child from old photos or school pictures and glue onto the bookmark. Cover it with contact paper, then trim the edges. Punch a hole in the top of the bookmark and thread the yarn through for a tassel.

These practical gifts are easy to mail and make loving valentines.


Ideas for play

Treasure hunts are a Gorton favorite because they can be adapted for all ages, and we like a little adventure in our day.

Here is what you do: Make a list for each child or team by cutting out pictures of each treasure and gluing them on a small piece of tag board. Hide the items in the house or yard.

Give the list to the children and let them search until they find everything pictured. When their list is complete, they may come to you for the big prize which can be anything they can keep like a small toy, stickers, a cookie, etc. You can adapt for older children by creating written clues they must decipher instead of pictures. Everyone will have a blast.


Apryl Gorton is the director of New Direction Tutoring and a volunteer with the Freeborn County Thrive Initiative. Visit the website at