10 to 12 Months
During this stage, your baby refines what she knows and moves on to harder tasks, such as learning how to operate her fingers independently of one another. (That means that the inside of her nose and ears, as well as yours, suddenly become tunnels to be explored.) Your child will also be able to point to objects she wants and use hand signals to let you know that she wants to be held or picked up. She'll also start to clap along to music and willingly reach for and hold your hand.
- Tie short pieces of different-colored yarn to each of her fingers so she can see and feel them moving individually. Make sure the yarn is snug but not too tight.
- Poking holes is the best way to help your child learn to use each of her fingers independently, so invest in some clay and let her poke to her heart's content.
- Babies this age understand dozens of words, so ask your child to perform tasks that challenge her motor coordination and her understanding of cause and effect, such as squeezing a squeaky toy.