Baby sensory ideas you can try at home - From birth - 12 months.
Little ones don’t need extravagant play times set up for them. Absolutely everything is something to explore and wonder at when experiencing it for the first time! From toes in the grass to splashing in the water, babies find out about this brand new world around them using all of their senses, sometimes all at the same time!
Everyday activities such as nappy changing and feeding are great opportunities to develop your baby's sense of touch, smell, hearing, sight and taste.
Here are 5 top sensory activities for your Newborn:
- Face to face time
They enjoy looking at open eyes and smiling faces. So take that time to look at your baby, smile at your baby. Make funny faces and noises. Be creative and follow your little one's cues to what they enjoy.
- Tummy Time
This is an important activity for your baby. It helps to build coordination and strengthens your baby’s neck, shoulders, arms and trunk. These muscles help with the motor skills such as rolling over, crawling, pulling self up and sitting up.
- Singing to your newborn
Everything goes here. Whether these include nursery rhymes or songs that you make up on the go. Whether you include them while you are cuddling, walking, changing their diaper or giving them a bath. Singing can be used to soothe, entertain and create that special bond.
- Lay on their back
By laying him down on his back he will have the opportunity to explore his hands and feet. This helps with eye-hand and eye-foot coordination. You can encourage his interest by playing games with his arms and feet.
For example:playing ‘this little piggy’ and counting his toes.
For hands, you can sing a finger song such as ‘Tommy Thumb’ and massage each finger as you sing.
- Going for a walk outside
This is a great activity that has many benefits for you and your baby. Both of you will get the much needed Vitamin D. You get exercise. Your baby will get an opportunity to stimulate their other senses by seeing, hearing and feeling the wind on their face.
Peekaboo is such a fun game for the baby. The smiles and the giggles keep on coming. They love the surprise of seeing that hidden face pop back up in front of them but also appreciate the predictability of what is going to happen. It is a great game that focuses on an important cognitive development that demonstrates your baby’s ability to understand object permanence.
- Water PlayIf it’s summer, outside is a perfect place to play. If however, these are the cooler months playing in a bathtub is just as fun. If you are using a baby pool or a bathtub only fill it up with few inches of water. Depending on how well your baby is sitting up you may want to hold them up or just get in the water with them. Then, let your baby splash around. You will get lots of smiles as they kick around with their legs or splash around with their hands.
- Drumming BandA perfect drum can be made from a simple kitchen plastic bowl or an empty container. All you have to do is turn it upside down, grab some wooden spoons and viola!!
Let your toddler explore the sounds and get more control of their hands as they start banging around on the drums.
- Food Play
I know that the thought of having a baby play with food freaks out many parents. They will get it all over themselves and there will be lots to clean up afterwards. Yes, it’s messy but it is actually really good for them. As they play and explore they learn about all the properties of the food. They learn about the texture, the smell if it makes any sounds when it’s squished.
- Light Show
Explore visual senses through glowing lights in the dark. You can play this game in any position. Your baby can be lying down on their tummy or their back. They can also be sitting up.
Here are my top 5 sensory activities for the 6th month old:
- Free play and exploration
One year olds love to explore. Providing them with opportunities to free play and explore their environment and objects encourages curiosity and also fosters creativity.
Pots, Pans, wooden spoons, whisks and spatulas are great for this as well as cardboard boxes. They will use their imagination and have hours of fun. (hopefully)
- Water Play
This activity is great for any season. It doesn’t matter if it’s summer or winter. During summer you can play outside. You can play in water parks or fill up a water table, a baby swimming pool or simply a large container with water. In winter your baby can play in sinks or in bathtubs. Your little one will love splashing around and playing with a variety of water toys. Maybe add some bubble bath/soap for extra fun.
This activity can get messy but it is also easy to clean up. Depending on what you can find in your supermarket you can use any of the following for this activity: dried porridge oats, dried pasta, dried rice and cereals. Place it into a large container with a splash mat underneath it. First, let your little one explore the texture with their hands. Then add some toys or cups and spoons to the mix. They can keep strengthening and developing their hand skills as well as use their imagination to explore.
This activity can get messy but its great fun for your little one. Its best to place them at a table or in their highchair. Simply cover the area in old newspaper and put your little one in old clothes and they can paint and drawer to their heart's content and the pictures make beautiful memories for parents too.
- Blowing bubbles
Nothing delights a 1 year old more than popping bubbles. Stick to a simple bottle of bubbles, or make plenty, with a small bubble machine