This month, your tot may be crawling, pulling up, or even walking. That means the person who’s really on her toes is you. According to Dr. Tovah Klein, head of the Barnard College Center for Toddler Development and author of How Toddlers Thrive all babies walk at different times, some as early as 9 months, others as late as 18 months.

This new freedom to explore means babies are seeing the world differently and getting into more things. So definitely give that first round of baby-proofing a second look. Keep toilet seats closed and medicine and cleaning products out of reach.

Since everything in your house is new an adventure for your curious kiddo, Klein recommends these safe, hands-on activities.

  • Draw with crayons: tape newspaper to your kitchen floor, then let your little one crawl around with a crayon and scribble on it. She will try to eat the crayon. Just take it from her mouth gently and show her how to scribble.
  • Put things in and out of containers: this is another way that babies learn about coming and going (which means mommy leaves and comes back). Your baby can play with empty bowls or pots. Put a toy in the bowl for her to play with or give her a wooden spoon and pot for music-making.
  • Create a play zone from a kitchen cabinet: put containers, pots, and pans in a low cabinet that she can play with while you make a meal. Yogurt containers and egg cartons are also perfect.

For more great learning experiences, check out these week-by-week tips from child development psychologist, Dr. Holly Ruhl.

Week 1

Baby is becoming a pro at noshing on solids and may be developing an attachment to a stuffed lovey. This week, combine two of baby’s beloved pastimes with a “Teddy Bear’s Picnic”! Pack a few of baby’s favorite on-the-go foods, a blanket, and a basket of baby’s stuffed pals and head to the park. Invite a few of baby’s besties and make it a day to remember.

Week 2

Baby is close to that momentous first birthday. Look for a study at a local university in which baby can participate. This is baby’s first chance to give back to the community. Studies are usually designed to make sure your babe has fun while participating. You may even gain insight into your one-year-old’s development and find new ideas for games at home.

Week 3

Engage in imaginary play. Baby loves imitating and will begin engaging in symbolic play soon! Jumpstart baby’s imagination by playing “make-believe.” Pretend to chat on the telephone (TV remotes and bananas make fab phones, too!). Feed pretend veggies to your tot’s teddy bear. For the grand finale, pretend to be an airplane zooming through the air or a train chugging along the tracks.

Week 4

Now that baby is standing independently, a sand or water table may be perfect for entertaining (and educating) your non-stop tot! Fill with water and use a few empty cups to introduce the concepts of volume, weight, and space. Hide toys in sand and let baby explore new textures while scavenging. If you are creative, have a go at making a custom-built (aka cheap) DIY table.

Splish, Splash: Step2 Splash N Scoop Bay

This table does double duty, featuring compartments for sand and water. Lots of fun water toys are included, too.