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By now you've faced the fact that your baby is going to play with her food just as she plays with blocks, shoes, and anything else she can pile up and scatter. Serve her "Japanese style," with foods in little containers, and at least she'll learn to practice picking up and dropping things, and sharpen a host of other new skills.
Appropriate for: 8 to 15 months
Skills developed: Fine motor, hand-eye coordination
What you'll need: Several small bowls and plastic containers with lids; finger foods
Fill small bowls with a colorful assortment of your baby's favorite finger foods, like small chunks of soft fruits or well-cooked veggies, O-shaped cereal, tidbits of chicken or fish, and little cubes of cheese.
Give her some empty containers as well, and encourage her to mix and match, transferring the foods from one bowl to the next. (Be prepared for some smearing and throwing, too.) This is a great way to make a meal last long enough for a grown-up conversation.
The surprise of "now you see it, now you don't" is especially fun with glittery bubbles. Your baby will love watching the bubbles – and even popping a few.
Appropriate for: 8 months to 1 year
Skills developed: Understanding of object permanence, hand-eye coordination
What you'll need: Bubbles for blowing (store-bought, or you can search online for recipes to make at home)
Place your baby in his highchair. Duck down below the tray so that he can't see you, then blow clouds of bubbles, letting them cascade down on him. Pause for occasional intervals, then blow some more.
Each surprise soapy shower will elicit fits of giggles. Somehow, not being able to see you but knowing you're right there producing the bubbles is endlessly funny to babies.
Once he's on to you, try changing locations (move behind the chair or over to one side) so the bubbles suddenly come from a new direction – guaranteed to get the giggles going all over again. You may want to try this activity right before bath time, as your baby will probably get soapy!
Remember: Each baby develops at a different pace, so if yours isn't quite ready for this week's activities, don't worry – just try them again in a few weeks.
Visit your 10-month-old, week 3 page