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17 Fun Things to Do With a 9-Month Old (They’re On the Move!)

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Inside: Looking for fun things to do with a 9 month old who is napping less and on the move more? Here are 17 fun activities for nine-month-olds that will keep both and baby occupied for hours!

Your baby used to be stationary – you put them down in one spot and they stayed put.

But by nine months old, they’re far more likely to be semi-mobile, following their curiosity and getting into everything.

To add to all that change, your 9-month-old is probably down to two naps a day now.

That leaves you with A LOT of time to fill to keep them entertained AND keep them out of trouble.

But on the bright side, there are so many more fun activities for this age and stage!

9 month old baby girl lying on blanket with sign that says "I am nine months old"

Developmental Milestones for 9-Month-Olds That Equal New Ways to Play

Whether this is your first baby, or if it has been quite a few years since you had one, you may have forgotten or be at loss how to play with a 9-Month-Old.

Babies grow so fast! And with all that growing comes a LOT of change.

While yes, the things that entertained your baby at 6-months-old may still be enjoyable for both of you, the three short months that pass from 6 to 9 months opens up a whole new world of play opportunities!

Milestones that most babies reach around nine months of age include:

  • Getting into a sitting position by themselves
  • Responding to their name being called
  • Smiling and laughing when you play peek-a-boo
  • Looking for hidden objects (& knowing they’re there is the first place)
  • Banging two things together
  • Crawling and scooting
  • Beginning to climb 
  • Beginning to pull up onto objects
  • May “cruise” along pieces of furniture

All of these milestones means more play options – FINALLY.

smiling young mother lying on her back with nine month old baby on her knees.

Fun Things to Do With a 9 Month Old


Keeping those milestones in mind, here are several ideas for fun things to do with your 9-month-old.

1. Go for a Walk. 

Going for a walk is great for your mental and physical health as a caregiver, and by this age, it can be very stimulating for your baby, too.

Taking your baby for walks prior to this age can be a big help to calm a meltdown and get some fresh air.

But nine months, they are old enough to see quite a bit further and more clearly which makes going for walks even more stimulating for them. 

They can actually begin to enjoy the sights and sounds and you can use this time to point out simple objects too like birds and trees.

You can either push your little one in a stroller or babywear when going for walks at this age. There are pros and cons to both, but personally, I’d choose the stroller.

You can still talk to your baby if they are facing outward in a stroller, they might fall asleep during the walk, plus you might be able to listen to a podcast or music off and on while you walk.

2. Play Peek-a-boo or “Where’s the ball?”.

Most babies grasp object permanence right around 8 months old, so games like peek-a-boo are perfect at this age. 

You can make them giggle by hiding yourself behind your hands but you can also experiment with hiding toys. You can help them reason and learn by hiding their favorite toys just out of sight.

For example, while doing tummy time hide the toy right under the edge of the blanket your baby is laying on. Peel the corner back and say, “Peek-a-boo!”

Do it a few times and see if they can then find the toy on their own.

3. Have a dance party.

While your child can’t yet jump up and boogie around the room with you, a dance party will still bring out smiles and heartwarming giggles.

Hold or babywear your 9-month-old and put on some fun music. It can either be a style of music you like such as country or rock or silly kid songs. 

It really doesn’t matter. What matters is that you both have a great time being silly and moving to the music together.

4. Try activities that encourage crawling.

Most babies are crawling by 9 months old, but not all. In fact, some may skip that milestone altogether.

If your little one is not crawling yet, is new to it, or generally doesn’t choose to move around very much, you can play games to encourage crawling.

Set favorite toys just out of reach. Take a few steps away from your baby and shake a rattle at them while encouraging them in a sweet voice.

You could also stay laying on the floor with your baby and roll a toy away from you both and crawl or scoot after it yourself while encouraging your little one to follow.

There are even toys made specifically to encourage crawling. Most of which light up, talk, and roll.

Baby becoming mobile is SUCH a huge milestone!

It is a little terrifying because from that point on they get into EVERYTHING. But it also frees up your arms a bit more and fosters a tiny bit of independence, which is important too.

5. Do activities that encourage walking.

Most babies are beginning to set their sights on walking already by nine months old. They may be crawling, pulling up onto furniture, and climbing up things.

If they aren’t doing those things yet, don’t worry about it, they will be soon enough!

If your nine month old is already standing while supported, you can help them take teeny tiny steps! It’s really fun to watch them think, learn, and grow so rapidly at this age.

You can hold your child’s hands while you both stand and walk together. This is a favorite of so many babies, they get so proud and excited when standing and stepping.

You can also use stand-up toys like activity tables or activity cubes like THIS one.

The more they progress with this game and their stability the further away you can move each item. Move furniture and stand-up toys apart only about a half inch at a time.

It is as important that they gain confidence as it is that they gain the physical strength required to hold their body weight up.

6. Exercise with your baby.

Babies love to exercise with their parents. You can put them in the stroller and go for a jog, but they tend to enjoy working out at home even more.

You can use your baby as a tiny weight while you do lunges, squats, and more. My child’s favorite move has always been baby leg lifts.

Try laying on your back with your thighs straight up with knees bent down. Lay baby facing you on your shins.

While holding them on their tight, raise your shins upward until your knees are at a ninety-degree angle, and then lower them back down.

You’d be surprised how fun it can be for both you and baby to use them as a little, ever-increasing, weight. 

7. Read together.

If you haven’t been reading with your baby yet now is a great time to start. Point out words, objects, and colors in the books you read together.

Some interactive books like those with textures that you can touch and feel or books with flaps to open are especially engaging.

Board books are also great. We especially loved THESE Sandra Boynton books when my kids were this age!

Related: 40 Classic Board Books for Babies Under 1

8. Let them get dirty.

Nine month olds love to play with the messes of nature. Dirt, sand, and rocks open up a whole new world of fun for a 9-month-old.

If you don’t mind your little one getting dirty, let them explore some dirt, sand, or rocks. Anytime you can get outside with your baby is a win.

Just keep a close eye because those things will inevitably end up near their mouth at some point.

9. Try some water play.

Right up there with rocks, dirt and sand is water! Babies this age especially often adore playing with water, as long as it’s not getting in their face.

Of course, always remember a baby can drown in any amount of water so always stay within arms reach and use floaties in bigger bodies of water.

You can let them play in the bath, take them to a pool, swim in a lake, go to the beach, or even set up a little water table (THIS one they will use for years to come).

If your baby isn’t standing yet just use a shallow tub of water. Add a few toys and scoop-like measuring cups for a perfect DIY water “table.”

Related: The Absolute Best Outdoor Toys for One-Year-Olds (from a Veteran Mom)

10. Cook with baby.

Place your baby in their high chair in the kitchen or baby wear if you are not using the stove to involve your baby in cooking. 

Baking is the easiest and most fun activity at this age.

It’s ok if they touch, stir, and add ingredients with their little hands (with guidance, of course.)

11. Play in the kitchen.

If you aren’t quite ready to play cooking with your little one, consider letting them bang on pots and pans with a spoon.

Or just let them open drawers and cupboards with items like pans and Tupperware, so they can explore and pull things out.

12. Play with mirrors.

Babies still do not understand the concept of mirrors yet at nine-months-old, which makes them even more fun and magical to play with. 

Try laying a sturdy mirror on the ground that your baby can crawl over to and watch their reflection in. Hold up a mirror for them to play peek-a-boo with “the baby.”

Or you can simply move them into and out of a full-length mirror or bathroom mirror while holding them.

THIS rolling mirror toy looked super fun – and super safe – too.

13. Play with bubbles.

Whether you want to blow the bubbles yourself or pick up an affordable bubble machine like this one (do yourself a favor – pick the machine), bubbles will be a simple source of entertainment for your baby for years to come.

Blow some bubbles close to them so that they can reach and pop them with their arms. Just be careful not to blow them directly in their face.

Blowing the bubbles above their heads while your baby is sitting on the ground so they can delicately fall around them is a great way to play bubbles with your little one.

14. Play with chalk.

Put your baby in your lap, and teach them how sidewalk chalk works.

Show them how you can rub it on the ground to leave a mark. Then guide their little hands to do the same.

Those first little baby drawings of simple lines scratched on the sidewalk or paper are so precious!

If the weather is inclement, you can do this same activity with paper and crayons indoors.

15. Paint with condiments.

This activity lets your little one explore with all of their senses, including taste! Put your baby into their high chair and use the tray as a “palette”.

Squirt different condiments in various places around the tray. If you don’t mind a little food coloring being eaten, you can also color some mayonnaise for brighter “paint” colors.

Let baby finger paint with the condiments and taste them too!

16. Play with blocks.

Though your baby is not quite ready to begin stacking objects on their own, they are great at knocking things down. Most babies will begin to learn to stack items in about a month though, so now is the perfect time to introduce blocks into your babies’ toys.

Show them how to stack blocks and allow them to knock them down. Though stacking and knocking repeatedly might not be the most fun for you, your baby will love it.

Plus this will begin to teach the concept of stacking toys which opens up a whole new type of play for them soon.

17. Swing at the park.

They might not be able to do much else at the local park, but swinging in the baby swing never gets old!

Stand in back OR in front, tickle their toes or get excited every time they come towards you – there so many different ways to play with swings.

If you opt to push them from behind, the swings can also be a good way for you to do something else at the same time and get a bit of a break.

Read a book, make a phone call or check social media. It’s really ok to not be engaged with your baby 24/7.

(If you’re stuck inside due to weather, indoor swings or even rocking horses are great options!)

nine month old baby playing in sand box with sand toys.

There Are So Many Fun Activities to Do With a 9-Month-Old

Now that your baby is growing and becoming more mobile, they discover a whole new level of play.

Their vision is so much better than when they were born, and they can begin to really enjoy and explore the world around them.

Walks, dancing, and exercise can be fun for both you and your baby together now. They can begin to interact with toys in more ways than just grasping and sucking.

So take this age to soak up playing with your baby in so many new ways as they begin to explore and learn about the exciting world around them. 

Read Next: Top 12 Minimalist Baby Toys for the First Year – And Beyond!


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