As renown psychologist, Jean Piaget aptly puts it, \u201cplay is the work of childhood\u201d, indeed what seems like child\u2019s play in adults\u2019 eyes, is actually hard work for these little people. The rattling of rattles, rolling of balls, banging on pots and pans, and squishing fluffy soft toys are all part of developing the many skills that prepare babies for a wholesome childhood. Speedy Gonzales, Watch Me Go! You will notice that at 9\u201312 months old, your baby is always on the move, getting his hands on everything, learning to solve problems (getting around obstacles to get his toys), examining (hmm, should I eat the blue block or the red block?), and testing his boundaries (let\u2019s see if mama will shout \u201cno\u201d if I throw this!). He is curious and bright eyed about the world around him (ooo, shiny!) and he is now learning to point and ask for things by making sounds. He also learns that he can get a reaction from the adults if he behaves a certain way (maybe if I cry now, I\u2019ll get to come down from the highchair!). Play is therefore crucial to development because it promotes cognitive, physical, emotional, and the social well-being of a child; while playing, a child engages his or her imagination and dexterity \u2013 contributing to healthy brain development, too. Play also provides a perfect opportunity for parents to connect and interact with their children. As babies learn to conquer their world, play \u2013 whether directed or free play \u2013 will help develop new capabilities in them that will shape their personality, confidence, and strength to overcome obstacles. Let us now take a look at the developmental skills your baby gains through play and what you can do to encourage it. Gross Motor Skills Between the ages of 9 and 12 months old, babies become more and more aware of the world surrounding them through the use of their 5 senses (tools) \u2013 sight\/eyes, smell\/nose, taste\/mouth, sound\/ears, and touch\/hand; they now have more control of their hands and fingers, and of course, they put everything they pick up right into their mouths \u2013 a total eeeek for parents, but that\u2019s how they explore and learn! During these months before she begins to walk confidently, she starts to stand and scoot sideways around the room by holding on to furniture \u2013 this exercise will help develop her muscles and coordination skills. Create a safe space for your baby to explore; she will enjoy playing with soft blocks, balls, push-pull walkers, and stacking toys. Get down to her level on the floor and show her how to stack toys working in order or help her get in position before a sturdy push-pull walker and guide her in walking while standing right behind to support her. Show her how to roll a ball and let her imitate you, you may also give your child squeeze toys in the bath for some splashing fun! All these will help develop your child\u2019s gross motor skills. Fine Motor Skills These are the small, precise movements your baby can do at this age, which include picking objects with his pincer grasp (the coordination of the index finger and thumb to hold an object), turning pages of a book, sitting upright, and coordinating eye and hand movement. It is interesting to note that at this stage, babies are beginning to be aware of the difference between their right and left hand and are inclined to use their dominant hand in carrying out activities. It is important that parents are actively interacting with the child; you will observe that your baby is much more active, thus play-based learning is highly recommended to encourage the development of your baby\u2019s fine motor skills. Self-feeding is a great way to play and train children\u2019s fine motor skills as they practice picking up small pieces of food using their fingers and dropping them into their mouth or onto the floor (depending on the level of liking for the food!). When your child is feeding herself, give her the space to play with the food as she decides what she likes eating and what not \u2013 this process teaches her self-regulation as she learns to recognize and respond to when she is hungry or full. Another beneficial activity is giving your child a big baby book to practice flipping the pages \u2013 this will help her hand and eye coordination. Cognitive Skills At around 9 months old, your baby will understand better the concept of cause and effect; this means he can relate to the idea of pressing a button to get the music playing on the toy. Object permanence now makes more sense to him as he searches for his favourite toy car that rolls off under the sofa, and when you leave the room, he knows he can \u201csummon\u201d you back by making noise, crying, or even mimicking the sound \u201cmama\u201d. As your child approaches his first birthday, you will notice that he is getting better and better at communicating using his gestures, facial expressions, and sounds. Continue to play games like peekaboo and hide-and-seek with your baby, you may add variations to the game as your baby is older now: hide a toy and asked your child \u201cwhere did it go?\u201d Then, slowly make it reappear, cover your face with a blanket and let him pull it off, or cover his face while you pull off the blanket with a \u201cthere you are\u201d! No matter what variations you introduce, they will be great fun with your baby. Reading is also an awesome activity. Try to read in a sing-song tone, which will attract your baby\u2019s attention. As you read, point to the pictures, and make an association between the illustrations and the words. Choose age-appropriate books with big, colourful illustrations that will pique your baby\u2019s interest. Play To Thrive Growing is an exciting process and \u201cplay\u201d plays a ginormous part in shaping a wholesome, well-functioning, and well-adjusted child, with impacts lasting into adulthood. It is important then to consider choosing toys that stimulate a child's learning and development. Safe to say, Play\u2122 is a serious business for babies! The Fisher-Price\u00ae Linkimals\u2122 Smooth Moves Sloth\u2122 is one such toy that rolls fun and learn together; your little one will be moving and grooving to the exciting lights, music, songs, and cool dance moves! The cute sloth\u2019s playful songs and phrases will introduce your baby to the world of numbers, colours, opposites, and alphabets while the music will give her gross motor skills a great workout! The colourful lights, fun music, and pillow-y arms engage her visual, auditory, and tactile skills! Talk about an all-in-one baby skills-development toy! And get this, here is the super cool part \u2013 the *Linkimals\u2122 friends are a collection of fun toys meeting a child\u2019s different developmental needs; now when the Linkimals\u2122 friends are put together, they will recognize one another and create a synchronized music and light show! How amazing is that?! With the pandemic that is going on now, we spend more time at home and what is better than investing in quality play time with your child? The Fisher-Price\u00ae Linkimals\u2122 Smooth Moves Sloth\u2122 will make a fabulous toy that gives hours and hours of fun on end at home! Last but not least, do spend some time to check this video out and get ready to get into the groove with your little one! https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/watch?vC7SEQRypBUE Only The Best For You, Baby! Fisher-Price\u00ae products are powered by PlayLab \u2013 an onsite R&D lab \u2013 that are dedicated to designing and creating the best and most practical solutions to meet the growing up needs of babies of all stages. As a trusted brand, parents are assured of getting nothing short of premium quality for their babies as every year, Fisher-Price\u00ae PlayLab\u00a0sees thousands of young families walking through its door to participate in its parent\u2019s talks and toy-testing sessions, reaping it precious findings. Join Fisher-Price\u00ae today on\u00a0Motherhood Story\u00a0as we journey with you through the \u201cBest 100 Days of your life\u201d. And do not forget to visit Fisher-Price\u00ae Official Brand Page on Motherhood.com.my\u00a0now to get your little one\u2019s favourite Fisher-Price\u00ae products. *Additional Linkimals\u2122 toys are sold separately and are subject to availability.