Did you know that the first sense a baby develops is the sense of touch? Around 8 weeks is when the sense of touch is developed and this probably explains why babies love to explore with their hand! Providing your child with sensory activities helps build nerve connections in the brain.
Here are some sensory activities to do with your baby between 3 and 6 months
Use empty plastic bottles to create a fun sensory activity for your baby. You can fill the bottles with different items to stimulate your baby’s senses. Here are some ideas
You can use grains and pulses from your kitchen, alternate between rice, rajma, dals for a variety of sounds. Use this to encourage your child’s head movements as you move the shaker from side to side.
2. Calming Bottle - Glitter
Fill up the bottle with water and add glitter and sequins. Shake the bottle vigorously and place it in front of your baby during tummy time and watch the glitter and sequins slowly fall to the bottom.
3. Calming bottle - water and oil
Fill the bottle with 3/4th part water and a drop of food coloring. Then top it off with vegetable oil. As you shake the bottle, your baby will enjoy the effect of the liquids mixing and then place it down for them to observe the liquids separate.
Add some ocean/ beach treasures like shells, pebbles or animal figurines to an empty plastic bottle. Then add sand, filling 3/4th of the bottle. Place it in front of your baby and as your baby moves the bottle, different hidden treasures will be uncovered.
Sensory bags are a great way to contain your baby’s sensory exploration. They are easy to make and provide the experience without the mess. All you have to do is take a large ziplock, fill it up with the desired materials and tape all four sides to the floor during tummy time. Here are some items to fill up your sensory bags with
- Hair gel and beads
- Cooked peas
- Water and food coloring
- Pom poms
- Paint (two different colors to observe them mix)
- Water and sequins
- Water bead
Use an old cardboard carton and cut out holes. Behind each hole, glue fabric of different textures including felt, cotton, wool, aluminum foil, sandpaper and bubble wrap. If you do not want to DIY, the level 4 Montessori Box has a sensory mat perfect for tactile exploration.
In a shallow tray fill about 2 inches of water and add your baby’s favorite toys. Not only does it provide sensory stimulation but also a fun tummy time invitation.
In the kitchen
Taking your baby to the kitchen is great to stimulate their senses - the bright colors of the fruit and vegetables, the smell of different spices and the textures of food items - smooth orange, bumpy custard apple etc
Sensory play encourages babies to use all their senses as they absorb new information. Be sure to supervise your child closely at all times. While you may introduce sensory play at an early age, be rest assured that your child will continue to enjoy this for a long time.
Research shows that sensory play also encourages children to try new foods and are less likely to become fussy eaters. So set your child up for success, and try one of these simple activities today!