Sensory Activities for Babies

I love setting M up with fun learning activities.  But recently, it struck me that G, who is 9 months old, can certainly have an activity or two also! Here are some of our favorite sensory activities for babies:
sensory activities for babies


A box of instruments (this is a bucket from Target, but teacher supply stores also carry them or you could make some!) provides so much fun. G loves to “play” the recorder, shake the maracas, or listen to M play the triangle.
sensory activities for babies

Foot Painting

Tape some paper on the bottom of an exersaucer and squirt water-based (therefore both washable and non-toxic) paint on the paper.  Pop in baby and watch him “paint” with his toes. G loved the feeling and put up quite the fuss when paint time was over!

sensory activities for babies

Taste Testing
Yum!  No, I’m not recommending that you let your babies eat chalk, but kids this age do a lot of learning and exploring through taste.  I always sit right near G so that he won’t eat anything, but a little taste of what we’re doing often quenches his appetite.
sensory activities for babies
Ice and Water Play
So cold!  Fill a shallow box or, in our case, a plastic drawer, with ice and let your baby dig, splash, and explore. M enjoyed “teaching” G about the Arctic animals I’d thrown in and G enjoyed flinging ice at his sister.
sensory activities for babies
Just Explore
Sometimes, it’s the box on the coffee table that’s going to provide new textures for your baby to discover.  A cheap, fake Ikea plant or a coffee coaster can be mesmerizing to little ones as they run their fingers across the different surfaces.
sensory activities for babies
Mystery Box
When I’m getting M ready for preschool, I’ll plop G down with a new basket of safe items.
Try a basket of plastic cups or bowls, or maybe a basket of crinkly things like individually wrapped fruit snacks or granola bars.


sensory activities for babies
Explore Textures

Explore all types of textures!  Sitting baby on the grass or in a sand box can be an exciting new experience.

sensory activities for babies

Playing with Pasta

Made too much pasta at dinner?  A healthy portion on a highchair tray can be a fun activity for baby to feel, toss, and nibble!
Practically every experience is new to baby so capitalize on them and don’t forget to narrate what you’re doing or seeing or feeling, too.  His brain is like a little sponge, so get down with him and talk about those sticky noodles or that smooth, cold ice!
Written by Jill
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  • Reply JDaniel4's Mom

    What a cuties! These look like a lot of fun!

    March 2, 2012 at 2:12 pm
  • Reply Jen

    I love seeing a little one’s expression when they experience something sensory for the first time- like the feeling of grass on their feet or sand in their toes.

    March 2, 2012 at 2:53 pm
  • Reply GrowingPlay

    My daughter loves to paint and has since about 11 months although it does get messy at times. I think she loves the cleaning up the best – I give her a bucket with soap. We have tried putting the paint in plastic bags – she could care less. Lately jingle bells have a been a huge hit – putting them in and out of a brown lunch bag.

    March 2, 2012 at 5:11 pm
  • Reply SEA Mama

    This is a great post. I find that, as a mom, I’ll get some activities out that are age appropriate and then all the sudden, she’s hit a new stage of development. So, the process starts over. It’s nice to get some new ideas. SUBSCRIBE!

    March 2, 2012 at 9:51 pm
  • Reply Amber

    Great ideas there! I’ve got a sensory seeking 17mo so i will be using up some of your ideas, thanks 🙂

    March 4, 2012 at 9:09 am
  • Reply Kristina

    Wow! So many great ideas! Love the heap of pasta and foot painting! Never thought of that before! Your little one’s face is too cute: you can tell he is lovin all of this!

    March 4, 2012 at 1:34 pm
  • Reply Nessa

    Thanks.. you just gave me tons of ideas to try out with my 9 month old 🙂

    June 28, 2012 at 6:51 pm
  • Reply Kim @ NewlyWoodwards

    Thanks so much for sharing! I’ve been looking for ideas for my son and found this through Pinterest!

    March 15, 2013 at 2:40 pm
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