There are various vital skills babies need to develop as their brains form and bodies flourish. Sensory motor skills help infants learn more about their environment, especially because babies experience most of the world through their senses. And this is why sensory play is so important to infants and toddlers—it brings things to their level and allows them to explore our world. Read on to uncover some of the best ways to help babies build sensory skills.
Read and Sing to Them
Singing lullabies and nursery rhymes comforts your little ones and help them harness listening skills from a young age. Many seasoned parents and other experts advise starting this bonding activity from birth. You should also read with your little cutie regularly to help them build language skills. Then, as they grow, you can begin pointing out words as you read so that they learn to recognize them.
Pacis and Teethers
From birth, babies know to explore the world through touch or, more specifically, by placing objects into their mouths—this is why we call it the “oral stage.” One of the many reasons people often gift pacifiers to parents is that pacis and teethers are perfect objects designed for this life stage. Infants can improve their hand-eye coordination as they gain independence and pick up the pacifier or teether themselves to place it into their mouths.
Play With Food
Although parents often discourage their kiddos from playing with their food, doing this during infancy has its benefits. For instance, if you buy those adorable dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets for your cutie, enjoying them can engage several of their senses:
- Delicious aroma and taste
- The grainy texture of the breadcrumbs
- The visual shape of each chicken nugget
And if your baby or toddler plays pretend with their dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets before eating them, they may also engage their vocal and auditory senses. So sometimes, it’s worth letting your little one play with their food for a bit.
Although this activity to improve a baby’s sensory skills may not work for newborns, it’s great once they start crawling around more. Fill a plastic or fabric container with various items to engage all their senses. Items like rattles are great ways to get your child to use hearing and touch. Pacifiers also focus on touch but in a different way since it goes into their mouth.
Nearly everyone loves a good bath, and letting your cutie take a warm soak gets them clean and allows for some sensory play. Fill the tub with bubbles and fun, brightly colored toys. The splashing of the water, the smell of soap, and the warm water keep their mind engaged. Engaging your baby’s senses helps keep their growing mind active as they discover their world.