Pēpi begins to explore and test what effect they can have on objects. The repetition of activities that comes from this curiosity develops their brain connections.

Pēpi will now be very busy refining skills involving their hands, fingers, eyes and brain. By repeating activities, their brain connections will be getting stronger.

Cause-and-effect testing

Pēpi will be getting particularly interested in what they can do to objects. They’ll try things out and repeat actions that have interesting results – this is called ‘cause-and-effect testing’. They are like a little scientist – they keep testing to see if the same action has the same effect. Ask whānau if they're seen pēpi repeating any activity over and over. Affirm what parents have been noticing and make any links to the development listed below.

Try an activity

Stacking and nesting

This activity gives pēpi a chance to share attention with whānau and learn problem-solving skills through exploring what fits into what, and what stacks on what.

Integrating development

During this period, several parts of development come together:

  • Curiosity – if a baby lives in a loving environment where they trust the people around them, they’ll be interested in exploring things.
  • Vision – baby can see colours, can see further and can see in 3 dimensions.
  • Large (big muscle) motor skills – baby may be moving around and finding and exploring things that look interesting.
  • Fine (small muscle) motor skills – baby can grasp, manipulate using one or both hands, pass things from one hand to the other, shake, bang, drop and throw.

They’ll be developing their ‘pincer’ grasp – using their thumb and forefinger to pick up smaller objects.

In the Whakatipu booklet Te Pihinga 2 (pages 8 and 9), whānau say, ‘We notice the types of that pēpi is interested in. Lids that open and shut, and things to bang, shake and make noises with are lots of fun. Their little fingers love to explore, poking and pulling, and that still loves to taste test everything.'

Conversation ideas

What are some of the things your pēpi likes to play with from around the house?
What sort of multi-tasking have you seen baby doing?
Are there any areas about baby’s development that you are concerned about?

Helpful resources for whānau