Advice from Canpol's experienced mothers.

Games for children aged 9 to 12 months: exploring the world on all fours!

When I was spending time together with my husband and our baby, I wanted to get as much out of it as possible. I couldn't do all exercises alone with Julia, and besides - spending time actively is very nice. When Julia started to crawl, we began to invent games that would improve her motor skills.

The tunnel

You can play this game in a few different ways. In the beginning, one of you should stand on all fours, so that there is a lot of space under the tummy - this is the singular tunnel. In order to make the child go through the tunnel, the other person should call his name and show him, which way to go. You can also try holding the child's favourite cuddly toy in your hand and ask the child to come and get it. If the toddler succeeds, you can also try making a double tunnel: both of you should stand on all fours, close to each other. Then put the toddler at one end of tunnel, and a toy at the other end. You can also invite your friends and their children to join you at the game. Then there will always be someone waiting for the child at the end of the tunnel, and someone who can encourage him to enter the tunnel. Don't worry if the game doesn't work immediately. You just have to keep trying it again, and when your child comes to like it, he will have tons of fun.


"Ready, set, go!", it's a mini race on all fours! Start crawling on all fours with your child. After a while you can accelerate a little and see if the child is trying to catch up with you. If so, let him catch you every once in a while. Whenever he catches you, remember to praise him, cuddle him or do something he likes (for example stroke him or lift him up). The next time your child can start running (crawling) away from you and you can try to catch him. If you succeed, celebrate it with a moment of cuddling, tickling, etc.

Bathtime fun

You can play a variety of games during bathing, but I like ball games the most. At home we have several small, colourful balls, which can be thrown into the water. When I was bathing my daughter, I would throw balls to the bath and Julia would try to fish them out. You can submerge the balls again immediately or add a water-resistant box or bucket to the game. Show your toddler that he should put the balls to the bucket/box when he catches them. Submerge the balls again only after the child has collected them all. This way you can exercise your toddler's hand-eye coordination and have fun at the same time. You can also revise his knowledge about body parts during bathing (and not only). You probably have already played showing and naming body parts with your baby before. You can diversify the game by inventing a rhyme about body parts or buying a book about them. When you recite the rhyme, touch the body parts that you're talking about. I noticed that my child quickly became more and more independent thanks to various experiments and shared games. After playing games in the bath, it was time for a wash - which can also be fun. Until now it was probably you who washed your child. But now you could take your toddler's hand and imitate the motions that you do when washing him. You can also do the same with drying with the towel.

Magical dishes

when washing him. You can also do the same with drying with the towel. Magical dishes Shops are full of toys, but you can also use various things that you have at home. A plastic cup, for example, can be used in many different ways. Our toddlers love pouring things from one place to another. So give him a bowl full of macaroni (make sure that he doesn't put them in his mouth) and show him, how to pour them into a cup. He's clumsy and pours the macaroni on the floor? Don't worry about it, getting dirty is an integral part of the game. You can also put something under the cup. You can show the object to the toddler, cover it with the cup, uncover it again and then cover up again. You'll see if the toddler is curious enough to finally take the cup in his own hand and check what's inside. While you were on a walk your child picked up interesting "treasures", but you don't have a bucket to put them into? No problem, you can use a cup to carry them. When you come back home, take a look together at what he found (stones, leaves, etc.). One cup offers unlimited ways of having fun. Now you can take another cup and show your child how to put one cup inside another.
Don't worry if your child can't or doesn't want to play all the games I suggested. Try them again after some time. Think about other household objects that you have at home and how they could be used to play with your child.


Mum of 11 year old Julia, 4 years of professional experience

Karolina Taranko

Creativity Psychopedagogue
- consulting

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