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Fun Ideas for Sensory Activities

sensory toys

Sensory Play & Sensory Toys

What is sensory play? Sensory play is a fun activity that usually involves a wide variety of toys and everyday items for sensory stimulation and development. When little kids engage in sensory play, they use their senses which then helps in rapid brain development. This allows babies to process sensory information and respond to it. Physical development is also enhanced during sensory play.

From specially designed sensory toys to everyday objects, a child can enjoy loads of fun ways to help encourage sensory play. In most cases, it is not just one sense that is stimulated but a couple of them simultaneously. For instance a rattle which is brightly-coloured and produces pleasant sounds, stimulates a baby visually, sense of hearing and touch.

Check out some of our favorite sensory play ideas.

Sensory play and fun activities for sight

A newborn baby’s visual acuity is not fully developed yet but there are plenty of fun ways to stimulate babies visually. Here are a few ideas for your baby’s visual development:

  • Make sure your baby has a lot of things to look at. You can have a mobile above her cot or bring her to different rooms in your house. Lying under the trees is also recommended as well as spending close up time with her can help them recognise your face and facial expressions.
  • Encourage their visual senses by moving a toy in front of their face. Let their eyes follow it.
  • Reading even helps in their visual sensory. Simple board books with lots of contrast and bright colors will help.
  • Sensory bottles can be a fun homemade toy for visual stimulation. Another idea is to have sensory bottles. This promotes visual stimulation that can be a fun homemade.
  • Playing peekaboo with your baby also helps stimulate her visually.

Sensory play for hearing

Your baby can recognise the sound of your voice and could hear you even before she was born. While this is the case, her sense of hearing is still developing and won’t be fully developed until she’s much older.

  • A child will listen as you speak so take the time to talk, read and sing. This is how they learn.
  • Talk to your baby whenever something catches the attention of your baby like the sound of a plane or whirring sound of a chef’s mixer because this helps build sound associations and connections.
  • Another perfect sensory play for hearing is music. You can stimulate it through making music together, exploring rhythm with instruments or creating instruments that produce sounds such as a saucepan and a spoon or an old spice jar with beans or rice inside.
  • Babies and toddlers are forever amused with Rainsticks. It is a great sensory for hearing as they create a lovely relaxing sound. In this way, little ones will quickly work out how to do it themselves.
  • Although simple, velcro can also make a good sound. You can use clothes, shoes and nappies that have velcro. You can also make a velcro board and let your little one discover how many items can stick to it.

Sensory play for touch

The greatest sense to stimulate during play is touch which is usually involved in almost any type of play.

  • What you can do is to hold, touch, stroke and massage your child. It is the first form of sensory play that involves touching. By touching the different parts of the body, a child will discover that her legs, arms, hands and feet are connected to them.
  • Another incredible sensory play is called messy play. This comes in many forms and is a great way in exploring the sense of touch. The activities involved for little ones are edible finger painting, squishing dough,and playing with rice or cooked spaghetti.
  • Surprisingly, the bath is also a great place to help stimulate the senses. When a child is bathing, try adding an ice cube or more into the water and let them discover the feeling if it's hot or cold. Or, why not add bubbles or bath bombs. Not only is the sense of touch stimulated but the sight and smell as well. Perfect!

RELATED: Sensory Play with Sensory Bottles and Treasure Baskets

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