Parent Question: My son is 11-months-old. I'd like to spend more quality time with him teaching him things rather than just playing. Other than story time and scribbling all over the tiles is there any sort of things I could do with him to keep him amused... he's very active and doesn't seem to want to sit still. Rory's Mum

Rory will at 11 months and be actively exploring his world, now that he can get himself where he wants to go.  Expect him to only be able to attend to an activity for a short time and to be very easily distracted by noise or others things going on around him.  I would recommend that when he is doing an activity such as drawing; turn the TV and radio off so there is not much noise around him to assist with his concentration.  Some things he will enjoy is; putting items in and out of boxes, pegs in and out of an empty tissue box, blocks in a box and get him a ball that is slightly deflated and sit opposite each other, legs out and roll the ball back and forth. Another idea would be find some toy cars and he will love to push these around as all little boys do and be sure to make the car noises as well!

He will be able to throw toys so find some suitable ones and a plastic container or box and try to throw it in.  You can also wrap his toys with old paper or a tea towel and he will unwrap them and find this very amusing.  This is also a great age to start a little collection of musical instruments in a basket, shakers are a great start, you can buy some or make your own.  If you make them be sure to glue the lids on tight so the pasta or bells can’t escape.  Sing songs and make music.

Rory will also be interested in language and part of his learning is lots of nursery rhymes, hand games such at ‘clap hands’ ‘this little piggy’ ‘round and round the garden’ and of course ‘peek a boo’.  I’m sure once you start thinking along these lines you will remember lots of them.  Go along to the library and find some cardboard books for babies and start to read to him, even if it’s only a page or two.  Try to change them weekly.  They also have story time and activities for this age at the library, which anyone can go to and this is also good for interaction with others.

For a few more ideas- stacking rings and stacking cups, lots of cardboard boxes, big enough for him to get into. Pull out your saucepans and wooden spoons for him to enjoy.  For his first birthday one of the best presents he could get would be a tea set, it might take a bit of time to find one that isn’t pink and pretty, but you can if you start looking around.  This will copy what he sees everyday and he will love it.  Once you show him how to use all these new toys he will be able to play with them by himself.  Have fun.


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