Sensory Activities for Babies
Essentially, any activity that helps sensory development is considered sensory play. For babies, it could be as simple as talking to them or gently massaging their arms and legs. When they grow older and can sit upright, you can start introducing sensory toys and everyday items that help with sensory development and stimulation.
Babies use their senses to understand that world around them and as parents, we can help by encouraging them to explore their surroundings. When they are allowed to investigate, create and explore, there are pathways that are built in their brain that will also set up later on when they achieve more complex tasks. In the same way, it also helps babies in developing their language skills, social skills, memory and sensory development.
Unfortunately, you donít have many specific playtime when your baby is still tiny. After all, a lot of your time is spent looking after the needs. Fortunately, when you want to stimulate their senses in playful ways, it can be easily incorporated into the dedicated playtime and daily activities.
As mentioned earlier, sensory play can be any form. It could be giving them things to look at while they are lying in a pram or cot. It can also be giving them fun things to touch. Things such as toys with different textures and those that make crinkly noises when touched. Infant activities like allowing your baby to explore a wipe or clean nappy whilst they are being cleaned and changed can help with sensory development.
Encouraging play in simple ways
There are lots of things that you can do to encourage sensory play depending on the age of your baby.
Example, you can help physical development and stimulate the senses just by lying on your chest or a few minutes of tummy time on a playmat. When babies are lying on your chest, you can make funny faces or sing a rhyme and if they are on a playmat, add things with texture for them to explore, a mirror or any interesting toy just out of reach.
Take notice when your babyís attention is caught in something that intrigues and interests them. Another great way of encouraging sensory play is by talking to them and telling them about the things that attract their attention. Also, allow them to explore things such as feeling an ice cube or the table and the noise it makes when they bang it.
Donít also forget that babies can become easily overwhelmed with too much stimulation. But, you can still use simple play activities for a few minutes for them to explore. These activities need not be elaborate like water and ice cubes, rice to pour or spaghetti to squish.
Rattles, rain sticks, mobiles and sensory blocks are simple sensory toys that are also great for babies. Babies can also explore comforters and soft toys that have multiple colors and textures.
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