Babies and toddlers are constantly developing and a big part of how they learn is through their senses. It is great to give them opportunities to explore through stimulating, sensory play.

Sensory experiences build nerve connections within the developing brain’s neural pathways.

Mouthing Toys

Babies need to mouth objects to enable them to develop a growing interest in the world around them and to help with weaning. The mouth and tongue have lots of nerve endings which allow the baby to explore texture and taste of objects.

Sensory play is any experience that stimulates any of the five senses.

Stimulating the senses

Examples of activities to stimulate the senses.

  • Sight – mirrors, bold contrasting colours (black and white for babies), bubbles.
  • Smell – scented play dough (check out last weeks’ newsletter for five recipes), oranges, herbs added to water.
  • Taste – jelly, cooked spaghetti, cooking together.
  • Hearing – foil blanket, shakers (check out this weeks newsletter for shaker ideas), bells, saucepans and wooden spoons.
  • Touch – wood, metal, ice, shells, fircones, pebbles.
  • Vestibular (sense of balance) – action songs, rolling, jumping, crawling, hanging upside down.
  • Proprioception (awareness of position and movement of their own body) – pushing and pulling objects, cardboard boxes, riding trikes and bikes.

Have a go for yourself – find lots of these types of resources at home, share your pictures with us on our social media.