Updated on April 20, 2020 by Lyric Fergusson
Eight-month-olds create even more of a challenge because they are now old enough that they need more stimulating activities throughout the day, but they are still too young to be left to distract themselves for too long. This gives us parents a common need in these trying times: activities for our eight-month-olds that they can do with minimal supervision.
Check out the free activities for 8-month-olds at the bottom of the page for even more ideas.
21 Engaging Activities for 8-Month-Olds
While this activity might include a little bit of pretend eating on your part, this is something that your little one can do primarily on their own. When my son was younger, he would spend hours mixing different foods and presenting them proudly to me.
This is a great developmental activity for 8-month-olds, and it can bring about so many different learning opportunities. These colorful blocks are visually stimulating for babies and while they learn how to put them together, it will help them to hone their fine motor skills.
While babies start walking between nine and eighteen months, they tend to start trying to pull themselves up a little sooner. This can be either an outdoor activity or an indoor activity which is a huge bonus. This walker can help your little one to pull themselves up and possibly even take a few careful steps and then when they get tired of that, the bells and whistles on the front can occupy their minds for additional time.
Music is an underrated and often forgotten developmental activity for younger children. Learning how to make instruments produce sound is great for dexterity and fine motor skills and we don’t know a single child that doesn’t like to make noise. This is a louder activity, so it might be better suited for a day when you don’t have to be making phone calls.
Stacking and unstacking objects is a fun learning activity that can have the bonus of occupying your little one for quite a while. They can teach your little one about sizes and the one that I love for my son from Melissa and Doug can also teach shapes at the same time.
While eight-month-olds obviously can’t read, they do love to mimic what they’ve seen their parents do. My son loves to turn pages and look at the stimulating colors and pictures on each page. A bonus of these soft books is that they are waterproof and can be wiped down after sticky little hands are done with them.
If there’s one thing all eight-month-olds have in common, it’s that they love to make messes. If we can let them feel like they’re making messes without them really making messes, they will stay busy for a long time. That’s why we love this drawing mat. You fill the pen with water, and it changes the colors on the mat but doesn’t risk staining anything around it.
Sensory bins are wonderful for an unsupervised indoor or outdoor activity. Oatmeal can be used in place of rice or beans as a filler and it’s nothing to worry about if they put some into their mouths. You can fill your child’s sensory bin with non-toxic toys that are large enough that they aren’t a choking hazard. We love these soft blocks for our sensory bins.
There is an easy and cost-effective way to create a ball pit at home with simple, non-toxic supplies. All you need is a bin or small swimming pool and soft, plastic balls and you’re provided with a safe and stimulating activity that requires little to no supervision.
Finger painting is a lot of fun for kids around 8-months-old, but it is not something that can be done without a lot of supervision and cleanup after the fact. However, there is a great way to get the benefits of finger painting without the mess and possible ingestion of paint. You will just need to put a few dollops of paint into a large Ziploc bag and allow them to spread it around through the bag.
This activity is great if you live somewhere warm and want to let your kiddo cool off in a safe and fun way. This option is much safer than a pool because there is less than an inch of water in the bottom of it so it can be supervised from a comfortable distance while you work and your baby can enjoy playing with their toys in the middle of the sprinkler while splashing happily.
This can be paired with the splash pad activity to create an even more stimulating and entertaining activity for your little one. When my son was younger, he would hook these toy fishes and unhook them to his heart’s content. The biggest bonus of this toy is that it can be used in or out of the water, including in the bathtub when you can supervise.
We’ve all seen that old school Fisher Price sorting toy but there’s a reason that it has been popular for so many years now. It is a wonderful, stimulating activity for babies to learn shapes and spatial awareness while they just feel like they’re playing games.
Every kid loves stickers, but the fun only lasts so long with regular stickers. That’s why we love this sticker book because it supplies endless fun by allowing them to stick and move them however many times they would like. As an additional bonus, you won’t have to worry about finding stickers stuck all over walls and furniture when they’re done with it.
Climbing is not only a fun activity for babies, but it allows them to build strength in their legs and shoulders. Furniture is generally too high to do this safely and can end with a bonked head or a scraped knee so using these foam blocks makes this activity safer but just as fun.
This stimulating activity is fun as well as being an excellent learning tool for babies. It is important to start teaching shapes and sizes early so that your baby has a strong basis in both. Wooden puzzles are a great way to do this and the fact that they’re non-toxic is awesome.
Activity tables are a great way to keep a baby busy because there is enough going on with them that they’re not going to get bored. This activity table is perfect for babies under a year because it is low enough to the floor that they don’t need to try to stand while they play.
At eight months old, a lot of babies still love their tummy time and it can be a great way to rest when they get tired of crawling. Tummy time mats can make this a stimulating activity at the same time as a restful moment for your baby. We loved this water mat because it allows young kids to push the water around and see the little toys inside!
Whether they play with them on the fridge or on a baking sheet, letter magnets are a great learning activity for kids. Although they won’t be learning their letters at this age, having your little one play with letters will help them familiarize themselves with them so that it will be easier when it comes time to learn. Magnets also have the same fun qualities of stickers.
Simply shoving a regular kitchen whisk full of pom poms can provide lasting fun for your little one while they use their newly developing pinching skills to pull the pom poms out from between the tines. The best part of this activity is that it can be put back together as many times as you want to for another day or even right away.
21. Make a Duck Pond
This is a great outdoor activity and can even be mixed with the splash pad we mentioned earlier. If you don’t have a splash pad you can simply fill a dish with about an inch of water and fill it with rubber ducks. Your baby can have fun pushing the ducks around and splashing with them to their heart’s content with this stimulating and fun activity.
7 Free Activities For Eight-Month-Olds
If you are looking for activities for your eight-month-old but don’t want to pay for supplies or wait for them to arrive, we have compiled 7 activities that you can do for free with supplies that you can find around the house.
1. Play with Colored Ice
You can make colorful ice with only water and food coloring and there are many different activities that you can do with them. Whether you choose to make a colorful addition to a bath or let them melt on the sidewalk, it’s a fun and free way to introduce colors to your little one.
2. Build a Fort with Pillows and Blankets
While this may take a little time on your part for the beginning, your baby will love playing in a fort and it might even encourage them to take a nap. All you need to do is hang up a blanket and use couch cushions or even just pillows off your bed to create a cozy little room.
3. Strengthen by Reaching for Objects.
An unexpected but highly effective way to distract your baby for some time is simply placing objects that they want slightly out of their reach whether that’s on the couch or a coffee table. This allows them to stretch and strengthen their shoulders and legs at the same time as occupying their time so you can get your stuff done.
4. Play Music with Pots and Pans
Even if you don’t want to buy a musical instrument kit, your baby can still enjoy the stimulating activity of playing music. Simply place some pots and pans upside down in front of your little one and give them a spoon (wooden works best) and they can enjoy banging on them to create their own music or even play along to songs.
5. Homemade Shape Sorter
You can create a shape sorter out of an empty tissue box or a clean yogurt container. Simply cut an opening in the top and provide your child with cereal, smaller toys, or any other choking-safe object for them to put into the hole. This is a reusable activity and requires very little supervision if the objects used are not choking size.
6. Make Music with Homemade Rattles
This one kind of works along with the pots and pans mentioned in #4. You can make an easy rattle with a small container or empty water bottle filled with rice or beans. This is another homemade instrument that babies can have fun playing along to music or on their own.
7. Paint with Water
All you need for this is a piece of paper (construction paper works best in my opinion) and water. You can provide a paint brush if you have one on hand, but chances are your little one will choose to use their hands anyways. The water changes the color of the paper and makes for the same fun learning activity as painting without the mess or supplies needed.
Parenting is a fun challenge as we are asked to be full time parents at the same time as working and taking care of our responsibilities outside and inside the home. As moms and dads, we want to create the most loving and educational environment possible for our children and we hope that one or two things on this list can help you to make that happen.