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