Sensory Play in our Baby Room

d1Sensory play is important for babies as when they first explore the world around them they don’t have the words to describe what they experience although they still absorb lots of information through their senses. Children respond differently to sensory experiences which can be therapeutic, improve motor skills, raise awareness of how the world works and contribute to language acquisition.

While babies may not have the words to describe their experiences, sensory play can help them build vocabulary and understand language. By using words and questions that relate to the child’s experience, an adult can link sensory experiences with cognitive growth. For example exploring different foods and how they taste: “I think you like the lemon. Ooh, is it sour?”

Our babies in Daisies have really enjoyed sensory play over the last couple of weeks so we have extended our planning, developing and changing it to follow the interests of the children but also to challenge their senses. As a room we have enjoyed many different sensory activities including:

  • Jelly play
  • Gloop
  • Play dough
  • Visiting the sensory room in the Caterpillars room
  • Foam bubble snakes
  • Clean mud
  • Food play (bean play, cereal play)
  • Sensory bags
  • Sensory bottles
  • Flour play

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The children really enjoyed having a “sensory station” in Daisies. We fixed a variety of sensory bags to the table for the children to explore. These had a variety of different sensory items inside such as bubble bath, cereal, pasta, glitter gel, and baked beans. The babies really enjoyed exploring these sensory bags and we explored lots of new language through talking to them about what they were doing.

Ideas of what to do at home:

  • Make your own foam bubble snake. Cut off the bottom of a bottle, cover with a tight sock and dip in bubble solution (washing up liquid). Blow through the top end of the bottle to create a bubble snake
  • Create your own sensory bags. Fill zip lock bags with a variety of different items such as bubble bath and glitter, cereals and pasta, baked beans, baby oil and sequins
  • Sand or flour play – this promotes fine motor skills by encouraging your child to make marks in the sand or flour

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