There are so many different toys out there for infants and children, but many of them don’t encourage your child to learn on their own, and you have to make sure you are playing with them constantly. This can make it difficult to get anything done! Not to mention that typical baby toys are fun for a while with all the sounds and buttons, but they have one purpose and children get bored of that. Children also seem to be really attracted to things that aren’t “toys” and often want to play with the most random items around the house. Sensory play is a great way to get your child engaged and learning on their own and being more creative! You want to engage your child’s senses (see, smell, hear, touch, taste) in order to stimulate their brains. Putting together a sensory basket may seem daunting as you don’t know what to put in it, but it is really quite simple!
Start by finding things around the house such as plastic bottles, containers, bowls, kitchen utensils, rocks, beans, etc. Find a basket or bin that you have in the house, and start filling it with these random loose items (that are baby safe of course) and watch to see what your baby does! These loose items create hours of fun since the ideas of what to do with each thing is endless. Not to mention this is an affordable way to keep your baby entertained! I have put together a few ideas of things you could put in your sensory play basket to
stimulate your child’s senses!
Grab an old plastic water bottle or container (even one you were going to recycle) and put some rice or beans in it. This will engage your baby’s senses of and will be a lot of fun to shake around and watch! For more fun you could dye the rice ahead of time with food colouring.
Put twinkle of fairy lights in a clear container. Babies love anything that lights up!
Fill a bowl with some dried pasta and give your baby a wooden spoon. They will have fun mixing, touching and messing up the pasta! Yogurt can be a fun way for your baby to finger paint without being worried they are going to ingest paint! Split yogurt into a few bowls and add different colours of food colouring. Then place your baby in a safe space such as their high chair. You can tape down a piece of paper to their high chair tray and put a few spoonful’s of the different colours of “paint” on and watch them to see what they create! This will engage multiple senses and your baby is sure to have lots of fun!
Give your baby some kitchen utensils such as a wooden spoon or a whisk, as well as a pot or metal bowl and they will have lots of fun creating music! A container of sand with cars or different items hidden can be fun for babies, toddlers or children to dig through and find treasure!
A loofah or sponge is an easy item to put in the basket and is a lot of fun for your baby to touch and play with. You can also just throw in some safe kitchen utensils, containers, measuring spoons, pom poms, fabric, ribbon etc. into the basket and see what they do with it!
There are so many different things you can do for sensory play with your baby! Get creative, and have fun with it! Just make sure to be cautious of your baby’s age when choosing things for the sensory basket.If you end up creating your own sensory play basket make sure to share it with me! I would love to see your ideas!