So, your little one is rolling over, scooting around and maybe even crawling. She’s very interested in the world around her and she’s depending on you to learn each and every day! Toys can be expensive and often don’t actually “teach” your little one anything.
Instead, skip the toys and check around your house for simple ways to create sensory activities for baby. Sensory activities are things that stimulate your little one’s senses of sight, touch, sound, smell and hearing.
Our number one favorite sensory activity is reading! Children’s books often have bright and colorful pictures that will keep baby’s attention. Plus, listening to your voice is one of the best ways that baby can learn. Be sure to use different voices for different characters and put emphasis on emotions.
Mess-free Finger Paint
Go to your local craft store and pick up some small bottles of brightly colors paint – any kind will do! Squirt a few different colors into a Ziploc bag and seal it. Baby can squeeze and squish the bag while mixing the colors and watching them change. Worried about baby finding away to open a bag? Just add some duct tape to seal it tight.
This one gets messy, but it’s SO FUN! Get a shower curtain liner and spread it out on the floor. Dump some Jell-O in the middle and let baby lay in it, roll in it, grab it, squeeze it and even eat it! Even thought baby will definitely need a bath after this activity, cleanup otherwise is a breeze because you can fold up the liner and throw it away or rinse it with the water hose and keep it for next time.
This can get messy, so keep it in a confined area if possible or on a tile or hardwood floor where the rice is easy to sweep up. This is also an activity you’ll want to supervise in case your little one likes to put everything in her mouth. You can use dry rice or cooked rice (if you’re brave!) in a bowl for her to squish and feel. Add other small items or toys in the rice for baby to find.
You can probably find a string of holiday lights in a storage bin somewhere in your house. It’s time to break them out and use them for more than the holidays! Put the string of lights into a mason jar and plug them in. This is another activity you’ll need ot supervise, but this is especially fun if your lights are multicolored or if they twinkle.
Think of a time before Pinterest. Find a corkboard or similar and secure items for baby to play with. Check out your local hardware store for knobs, handles and switches you can secure to the board. Then add some ribbons, shower curtain rings, small mirrors and even macaroni to the board for more fun.
Use toilet paper or paper towel rolls to make shakers with different ingredients – rice, beans, sand and beads are a few of our favorite. Or mix-and-match different items for even more unique sounds! Seal each end with tape and let baby shake away!
No matter how you play with your little one, you’re investing in their development. By introducing new sounds, shapes and interesting feelings, you’re teaching about the world around them.