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10 Home Sensory play ideas for your baby and toddler

When we talk about sensory play, we’re really talking about letting babies and toddlers use their different senses to explore the world. By providing them with a range of opportunities to use the senses of sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch.

Black & White Cards

When babies are born they can only focus on items 8-10 inches away. This increases until they have perfect vision at the age of around 3 months. Babies begin by seeing only in black and white and gradually begin to see colors. A newborn’s hearing is normally fully developed.

Black and white pattern cards for baby tummy time are perfect for an inquisitive baby who’s not a fan of being on his or her tummy!

Fabric scraps

Gather a variety of scraps together in different colors, textures, and sizes. Fill a basket or box.

Scarf Play

Chiffon scarves are ideal they are light and easily moved around. Babies capable of grasping can hold and play with scarves. As they get older you can do more and more things. Peek-a-boo isn’t as scary when they can still see you. Scarves are wonderful visual and tactile sensory items.

Wriggles and Giggles deliver face to face group sessions in Yarm, Hartburn, Ingleby Barwick that you can join by booking a sessions that best suits you, if you are a parent or carer to an early years child from birth. All areas of learning are covered for your child's development and your own understanding of how that happens and how to get the best outcome for them with your parenting techniques.

Yogurt and mirror play

Absolutely taste safe, doable anywhere on the floor and a great sensory experience. Put little mounds of yogurt on the mirror and add paintbrushes and a silicone spatula. You can also add vehicles and small world animals.

Play Food

Playing with cereal, spaghetti, noodles and instant potato right out of the box. Babies and toddlers love the textures and how it feels under fingertips. Add a little bit of water to the mix, making it a bit wet encourages tasting, and smelling. Add a few scoops to a bowl. Sitting the baby in the sensory bin makes for a lot less mess and easy cleanup. What baby doesn’t love the feel of warm and slimy food.

Nursery Rhyme Treasure Basket

It’s really simple to put together a nursery rhyme treasure basket. Small world toys that are suitable for these kinds of treasure baskets. Toys like Duplo, Happyland and wooden peg board pieces are some of the toys that can be included. Toys to represent the nursery rhymes and song. Musical instruments. Once items have been collected sit down with your child and place the basket in front of them and let them explore. There is no right way to play with a treasure basket, see what your child does.

Fort Play

Build a den with fill the fort with lots of blankets and cushions to make it cosy and safe. Flashing fairy lights. Discovery basket full of household items and simple sensory toys to explore. Foil wrap paper and blanket laid out amongst the cushions and blankets.

Textured Surprise Board

Cut different textured fabrics into different shapes. Add other items that are interesting to touch. Place the items all around on the board without glueing them down until you are certain that it is the way you want them. Stick everything down, leaving flaps for baby to lift


Sensory Bags

Sensory bags for babies and toddlers take minutes to make and they are perfect for young children who are exploring their sense of touch and sight. You can have your own homemade baby sensory toys made in minutes! You can add anything you like to your sensory bags and your baby will love exploring them. You can use plastic A4 folder paper covers or large food bags. Fill them with straws, material, buttons. You could also add some liquids like hair gel, shaving mouse and conditioner. Use some masking tape to seal the edges and watch your baby/ toddler enjoy.

3 Little Ducks Water

This simple 3 little ducklings water play activity will make a splash with your baby or toddler. Kids will have fun interacting with the mother duck and her ducklings as they position them in the water. You’ll love the easy setup of this water play activity that provides lots of opportunity for kids to play and learn. This activity is perfect for teaming up with some favourite Duckling stories and rhymes. While your toddler is moving the ducklings around in the water, take advantage of opportunities to promote language development. Talk about the placement of the ducks in relation to the mother duck. Use simple words and phrases with your toddler as you position duck and ducklings in the water. • in front of • behind • under • beside • near • far. Water play is a perfect sensory activity for toddlers for strengthening fine motor, language and social skills, while kids have fun with pretend play. Your toddler will love splashing in the water table with little rubber ducks for some rainy day fun!


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