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Pēpi begins to explore and test what they can do. This 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 the whānau:

  • What have you and baby been up to since we met last?
  • What is baby interested in at the moment?
  • Have you seen baby repeating any activity over and over?

Affirm what parents have been noticing and make any links to the development listed below.

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.

  • Are there any areas about baby’s development that you are concerned about?

In the Whakatipu booklet Te Pihinga 2 (pages 5 and 6), whānau say:

‘We notice the types of toys pēpi likes to play with. We try and make our own with simple things from around the house … They are learning to multi-task using information from their senses all at once, for example, reach, poke, mouth, grab, listen and look.’

  • 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?

How does this topic relate to Tākai resources?

Baby wall frieze: Ka taea au ki te mātakitaki – I can watch

Six things children need: Te ārahi me te māramatanga – guidance and understanding

Helpful resources for whānau