- Importance of this age
- Developmental Milestones Circle: 9 months to 12 months
- Points for concern: 9-12 months
- Intervention through play: 9-12 months
Increased motor control and greater mobility allow children to crawl off to independently investigate the sounds they hear at distances out of their view. They discover the larger world and start to understand how things they hear, smell, and see are connected to events, people and things.
Children are very curious and motivated to move out to explore, even when their bodies are not quite able. They move in and out of positions and constantly challenging their trunk to hold their bodies upright while their hands are busy reaching, grasping and playing. Their play and movements often involve taking weight on their extended arms which brings maturity to their hands and fingers. Their growing fine motor skills allow exploration and attention to detail. Controlled release of things and the growing ability to use their fingers and hands to grasp mean that they can manipulate objects quite effectively, learning about how things work.
Their eyes are well coordinated and can now focus with greater ease at tiny objects near them. They are fascinated with small details and start to explore changes in depth on surfaces. You will see children at this age poking their fingers into holes, rubbing their hands over anything that looks different, from a patch of sunlight to embroidery on cloth. They love to climb in and out of chairs, under tables and into boxes. They love to take things out and pull things apart. This active exploration of things they see helps them develop their perception of dimension and depth.
Words start to take on meaning as the children see expressions and actions while they hear tone of voice and words repeatedly. Not surprisingly, at this stage of experimenting, “no” is quickly recognized. They understand expressions and a child of this age when faced with a new situation will take their cue for response from the expression on their caregiver’s face.
They are very social and hold speech like conversations, and actively engage adult attention and interest. Interactions at this age help children learn some basic skills of conversations, long before they have even said their first real words! Children can follow the eyes or pointing finger of the adult, to attend to what they are looking at. They can point to things, pull, or gesture to express the things they want.
Children recognize and are calmed by routine. Routine also gives them the practice and repeated exposure to events, things, and people, which help them understand the world around them and to learn the skills to respond.