Learn through Play with Baby Alia 9-12 months old

Another super late post by yours truly :p I just finished going through our online photo albums to look for pictures to use in this post, and wow… We sure were busy during this time of the year (thus a very long post)! A lot of outdoor activities and “jalan-jalan” aka sightseeing to new places, plenty of (very messy) sensory play, the beginning of self feeding, more #diytoys! 


Baby-led weaning (by accident): Why by accident? Well, we didn’t start off with baby-led weaning (BLW) when Alia started solids at 6 months old. But for whatever reason, around 10 months old, she refused to eat puree and took more interest in self-feeding. I did my reading homework, online and using this book, and we said goodbye to all the purees. For those of you doing BLW, you’re familiar with the process – super messy hahah! At the beginning, she mainly used her hands (she still does now) and slowly we introduced utensils. When we went out, we brought disposable placemat like these ones, a bib, and her utensils (we use the ones from OXO till now).  

She only became an enthusiastic eater recently (since we stopped nursing) – YEAH!!! Before that?

Well, let’s just say that she was so attached to milk produced by yours truly that everything else became her mini snacks :p But I learned that parents can control WHAT, WHEN, and WHERE a child eats, but he/she has the control over HOW MUCH and IF they want to eat. Right? 😀 

Indoor exercise for baby

Alia didn’t start walking till she’s 13.5 months old, but she was a crawler since 6 months. Not long after, she was showing interest in standing and climbing up stairs. So I turned our living room into a baby gym! 

Tape a bunch of small items that your child likes and let him/her grab them. This activity encourages them to move around, stand, and take little steps (holding on or independent). This is also a great hand-eye coordination activity. As they grab an object, name it, then it becomes a language development practice. Awesome, right? 


I got this baby climbing “structure” from the internet (sorry I can’t seem to find my source – will update once I locate it). I stacked our large sofa pillows and let her climb up to reach her toys. 

This is a good opportunity to teach your child to go down FEET FIRST since they tend to go down head first (Oh oh!). My mom told me to do this as soon as Alia showed an interest in climbing up on things. I’d turn her around so she’d facing away and slowly pull her feet down. Every time she’s about to come down, I tell her, turn around and then feet first. 

Sensory play: the messier, the more fun we have! 




Ooblek: corn starch and water, and some food coloring if desired. Add some water in a large bin and slowly add corn starch. Keep mixing until you reach a gooey consistency that you like.

It’s so much fun because it’s liquid and solid at the same time! 😀 I suggest that you do this before bath time.



Dry oats: 

 This was her very first play with dry oats, and we ended up with zero oats in the bin hahahah! She clearly had fun exploring the content, right? 😛 

Sometimes I hide things inside the bin and let her find them like buttons and animal figurines. Depending on her mood and the content of the bin, she would play between 10-20 minutes (which meant that I could sip my tea while it was still warm hehehe). 

Homemade playdough

There are so many benefits of playing playdough with your lil’ ones – fine motor development (strengthening those tiny hand and finger muscles), concentration, creativity, etc (see here). Since many babies put everything and anything in their mouth, homemade playdough using natural ingredients is the best material to use. I use this recipe to make ours and when stored properly, they last for months! 



I only have an ounce of creativity when it comes to arts and crafts. My brain somehow freezes when I have to create something out of thin air, especially when it comes to drawing (I think my stick figures look miserable too hahahah). So my go to materials when I make #diytoys for Alia are duck tapes! :p 


Drop the buttons!

We’ve had this button bank since she’s 10 months old, and believe me or not, at 20 months, she still plays with this! The colored buttons are from Oriental Trading, but I think you can also find them on Amazon or Michaels.






Drop the straws!

This is a variation of the button bank above. Again, this is still on our rotation bin. She now knows how to get the straws out by carefully shaking the container. I used a small mason jar and the lid is from Michaels (it can be found at the flower arrangement section). You could also use pipe cleaners, but I stayed away from them until Alia was old enough to understand that not everything is for consumption. I changed the straws often since she liked to chew on them (eeewww…! :p) 

Got any plastic cups? Use them to play with baby! 

She dumped the cups, put them back into the bin, and repeat! I stacked the cups, she destroyed them, and repeat! I stacked the cups, she took them out, and repeat! She also discovered that the cups make sounds when you rub two together or crunch them. 😀 

Exploring the outside world

Those of you living in the New England area, you must still remember how bad the winter in February till April of 2015 was. Snowstorm after snowstorm every weekend that left us with a mountain of snow and walls of ice! So as soon as the weather got warm in June, we began exploring the outside world :p 

Super fun indeed! 

I don’t know how to end this post because I suddenly became so emotional – seeing all of the pictures and thinking about what we did almost a year ago make me miss our Baby Alia.. My husband said that it’s time to have another one then :p OK, enough about being all emotional, it’s time to make some dinner. Enjoy exploring with your lil’ one!

If you’re interested in reading previous journey, click here: 0-6 months old and 6-9 months old. 



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