Nine months on the outside sure go a lot faster than nine months on in the inside! Feels like I have blinked and this guy has gone from a 6 pound peanut to a chunky, crawling little man with opinions about everything!
I follow The Wonder Weeks to give me insight into each developmental stage, and also to help me understand the periods of fussiness that accompany leaps in his development. (Gives my patience a boost to know there is purpose in the fuss!) There’s a Wonder Weeks app which gives a nice overview specific to your child; the book goes into much greater detail and provides activities for each stage.
Right now Baby Bookworm is in the stage of development entitled Categories, during which he is learning that things can be classified into groups: animals, people, objects, etc. He also is beginning to understand that certain things are alike and different in areas such as sound, taste, smell, touch. This leads to a lot of exploration and curiosity. For example, he is fascinated by dogs, and is discovering what a dog is, whether that be in person when we were dog sitting last week (oh my, how quickly we discovered how much fun it is to feed table food to dogs!), seeing one on a leash during our walk, seeing one in a picture book, or seeing a photograph in our scrapbooks. This is the work of seeing, comparing, and classifying: learning that a large dog is still a dog, not a horse. (Thanks, to my sister, for having a Great Dane to help embody that lesson!) To encourage this work his brain is doing, we are more conscious of naming things for him as he shows interest, and allowing him time to use his senses to explore.
Books are, of course, fabulous for facilitating this developmental stage! Any book! Baby Bookworm enjoys books with colorful illustrations, as well as books with photographs.
A current favorite, sure to cause joyful hyperventilating is Matthew VanFleet’s DOG. Toddler Bookworm delights in pulling the tabs & other moving parts that make up this book. Baby Bookworm is quite interested in the sensory “touch and feel” aspects: “silky dog, shaggy dog, soft ears floppy.” We love all of Matthew Van Fleet’s books! We have Tails, Cat, and Munch (the latter of which is simpler and for younger readers than the others which span up through toddlerhood). I’ve found these at TJ Maxx on several occasions. I’ve had a copy of Alphabet on my wishlist for a while, too.
Another favorite with fabulous photographs is Baby! Baby! by Vicky Ceelen. Photographer Ceelen pairs an adorable baby picture with a picture from nature in a strikingly similar pose. Perfect for allowing Baby Bookworm’s brain to classify and sort: a baby is still a baby, even if he is posed like a dog! (Note: this book is out of print, but hopefully is available at your local library, or you can snag a used copy for a penny plus shipping at Amazon.)
But perhaps Baby Bookworm’s all time favorite right now is In My Pond by Sara Gillingham & Lorena Siminovich. He goes crazy for the bright fish finger puppet. I’ve never seen him crawl so fast as when I pull that one down from the shelf (well, except when I open the cupboard for mealtime! This one’s an eater!). We bought this when Baby Bookworm #1 was little, and it’s been a favorite ever since. Its simple prose has a calming effect. We often read this one as our final story before ni-night. There are quite a few others of similar format by this author/illustrator team (In My Flower, In My Jungle, etc.) but the text of In My Pond is most endearing to us, celebrating being with family.
Reading at nine months is a blast! Taking photos of said baby… not so fun! Looks like I’ll need to upgrade my camera to catch this guy- we are needing some increased shutter speed!
Keep reading, friends!
Titles mentioned in this post should be readily available at your local library, or at the Amazon affiliate links provided.