By six months, your baby can probably pick up a tiny object by pulling it towards him/her with the hand, covering it with the palm, and squeezing it into his/her fist. Over the upcoming months, your baby will learn a better way to pick objects up: the pincer grasp. The pincer grasp is the ability to grab a small object with the thumb and forefinger – a major skill and milestone for your baby to reach. The pincer grasp will allow your baby to feed herself, button and zip her own clothes, and write with pens, pencils, and crayons.
Give your baby lots of chances to let his/her fingers do some exploring with all kinds of toys and household items, such as:
- Activity boards or “busy boxes” that have lots of buttons to poke and turn on / switch on and off. They will help your baby practice the pincer grasp and allow your baby to learn about “cause-and-effect”.
- Blocks and Balls of all sizes, shapes, and textures. Help your baby to stack them, knock them down, push them around, and clap them together. Make sure they are not too small to swallow.
- Kitchen gear is always a huge hit with babies of this age. Give your baby wooden spoons, plastic containers and measuring spoons to play around with. This will also help your baby to learn how to spoon feed herself.
- Nesting toys, such as cups or boxes in all different sizes, are also fun for babies to play with. They will help your baby learn how to hold a cup and graduate from the sippy cup in the future!
As you help your baby practice the pincer grasp, he or she will love finding new objects to pick up. Make sure your home is baby proofed!