As mamas we know that our babes are constantly learning! Their eyes are following everything, their little hands are grabbing everything, and, most of the time, they are sticking whatever they can into their mouths.
This is such a fun time as a parent because you're seeing your little one's brain develop as he starts to try new things. This is where sensory play becomes such an important part of his day-to-day life. Sensory activities are anything that engage your child's senses, and help him to develop them through play.
The more your child is able to stretch her mind while she's tiny, the better equipped she'll be when working on fine/gross motor skills, on balance that will aid her in crawling and walking, on improving hearing and eyesight, or anything else that will help her down the road with attention and memory.
A lot of parents are intimidated by the idea of learning through play because they think it'll be a time suck, or that their child won't get a lot of benefit from the experience. So what are good sensory activities for baby? And what are some activities that won't break the bank or take up too much time or energy to get babe engaged?
Sensory development doesn't have to be hard, and there are things that you can do at home with items you have lying around the house to use in almost all of these activities! Here are a few ideas we rounded up from Pinterest to give you an idea of how fun sensory play can be for you and your babe!
This is a great option for our babes who haven't started rolling yet, or who are just getting interested in their hands. Hanging these colorful strings will engage their developing eyesight, and they'll be able to work on gripping and pulling. You can also switch it up with beaded necklaces, bells, or toys to target other senses.
This one is great for little ones of all ages, but is easy enough (and mess free) for babes who are just learning to sit up. You can cut out some shapes and animals out of foam paper, add some inexpensive hair gel to a seal-tight bag, and voila! You can tape it up to either a window (like this mama did) or to a high chair. Your child will engage their senses of touch and sight as they squish around the shapes and look for all the different animals.
This will be a fun activity for our babes with a better grasp of those fine motor skills. Get your hands on some pipe cleaners, pull out your colander, and let your babe thread them through the holes. You may have to work on showing your little one the first couple of times, then let her try it on her own, but this is a great way to get her problem solving skills going, and to help her further develop her hand-eye coordination. Plus it might buy you 3 or so minutes of quiet time!
If you have any empty containers lying around (anything from empty PlayDoh cups to yogurt/sour cream containers, or even just tupperware) you can throw a couple of everyday little knickknacks in there and you've got yourself a sound sensory jar! It is so fun to see your babe shake up a jar, and giggle when they hear some change jingling around, or listening to rice as it shakes. Mix it up and let your child get an idea of louder and softer sounds.
This one is super fun, and will help you repurpose all of that bubble wrap that came with your obscene amount of Black Friday online purchases! Tape the bubble wrap down and let your children stomp around, sit or roll, or even use their cars and trains to pop away! They'll love listening to the sounds of the pops, feeling the bubbles, and using their toys will help with their imaginative play.