Ever since I learned about sensory play with toddlers this week, I’ve been really interested in knowing more about how these activities can help development in babies since they seem to be really appreciated by early childhood educators. So last night I curled up on the couch with my drool-free iPad and spent the evening googling different activities suitable for a six month old baby who, obviously, puts everything in her mouth.
Although children respond differently to sensory experiences, these experiences can be therapeutic, improve motor skills, raise awareness of how the world works, and contribute to language acquisition. – Rachelle Dooley, Tinkerlab for PBS Parents
The sensory (discovery) bottles were a hit and we’ll definitely be keeping them around (and surely recycling them for future activities). But this morning, ZZ seemed really into banging her hands on every surface she could see and reach, so I figured I might as well take this opportunity to introduce a new activity and teach her about one of her parents favourites: making music.
It was 8:30 in the morning and I didn’t want to subject my sleeping husband to banging on pots and pans (I was leaving for brunch with the girls in a couple of hours, might as well let him enjoy his sleep-in) so I opened my “everything else” cupboard and looked for a slightly quieter Plan B.
I spotted our snack-size tupperware. Booya.
Then it was the hunt for anything that could make a rattling or shaking noise. Pasta, cashews, rice and Cheerios fit the bill so in they went. Now, my brand of containers have a tendency to lock exceptionally tight so I didn’t seal them but I’d suggest using tape. When I brought them into the living room, ZZ’s eyebrows curled up in curiosity.
The shakers were an immediate hit. After shaking them each around for a few tries, it was on to the mandatory banging of the containers together. On top of helping her with motor skills, developing her hearing and being just plain fun, I immediately noticed she was sitting up much straighter (which she’s been struggling with since sitting unassisted is a pretty new thing for her).
After a few minutes of playing, some book time and a nap, off I went to brunch. One of my friends (who was a trained early childhood educator) suggested I introduce a new activity only once a week to ZZ, giving her the opportunity to discover new ways of playing with one “toy” and not overstimulating her fairly new senses. Since the next couple of days are going to be warmer and sunnier, we’ll take the opportunity to slather on some sunscreen and go relax outside in the grass.