Baby Playtime: Stimulating activities for sensory development

Baby Playtime: Stimulating activities for sensory development

Discover how to stimulate your baby's sensory development with fun and easy playtime activities. Learn the benefits of sensory play and how to make it safe and enjoyable.

Babies are natural-born explorers. Sensory experiences are essential to their development and learning, yet it’s equally essential that they get enough quiet time.

Assemble some paper for them to tear and crumple, which stimulates their sense of touch. Use mirrors for them to look in on themselves, then encourage clap and sing-a-long sessions together!

Sensory Toys

Sensory toys engage a child’s senses, providing cognitive, physical, and emotional benefits for development. Children develop problem-solving skills through manipulating objects or fitting pieces together and experimentation of cause and effect relationships. Furthermore, these toys allow kids to express themselves creatively through imaginative play scenarios or creation of new stories for the toys they own.

Sensory play is beneficial to both neurotypical kids and those with sensory sensitivities alike; providing them with an enjoyable way to calm down, focus, and regulate.

Baby and toddlers can experience sensory stimulation from the comfort of their crib or playroom by way of mobiles that offer high-contrast visual tracking or colorful picture books that enhance recognition, or bath toys such as these squishy spheres and soft blocks inducing sensory discrimination while aiding fine motor skill development. Children can also work on visual, auditory, and tactile exploration via these mini instrument rattles from Infantino with moving feathers for balance and coordination purposes – perfect for visual-auditory exploration!

Sensory Bins

Sensory bins offer kids an engaging sensory experience by filling a large tub or container with filler material and various objects, providing the opportunity for digging, dumping and pouring activities. Kids can use their hands, spoon or tool like a funnel to explore textures like water beads, rice grains, sand grains and pom-poms before exploring colors, shapes and smells – providing experiences which develop fine motor skills as well as pincer grasp for handwriting.

Children can gain insight into math and science by counting, measuring and mixing. Sorting, organizing and comparing are also great ways for them to develop cognitively. Utilizing sensory bins helps develop both social skills and cooperation as children collaborate together in the same play area or on playdates.

Sensory bins offer an effective means to desensitize kids who are tactile defensive or limited by texture sensitivities, by touching, holding, and molding different textures.

Sensory Treasure Baskets

Elinor Goldschmied, an expert on child development, first created the concept of a treasure basket – an open container filled with objects designed to stimulate all five senses – including items of various textures (such as bits of lace and sponge hair curlers), shapes, sizes, colours, smells and sounds that appeal to all five senses.

Baby explores each object closely, looking, touching and eventually mouthing it to discover its taste and sensations in their hands and lips. Once they have fully explored an object they either return to it or move onto others.

Treasure baskets are an ideal way for infants who can sit up independently to explore and play independently with an object or two in it, changing regularly so your baby has new sensory experiences. While you should supervise, this activity should never be left alone without your supervision and regular monitoring from you as parent.

Water Play

Every parent knows toddlers can be quite messy. From covering toys with paint and honey drizzles to creating trails of dirt beneath couch cushions, toddlers’ messy play is actually helping them learn.

Sensory activities involving water are an ideal way to introduce new vocabulary and concepts, such as floating, sinking, stirring, pouring, soaking, splashing spouting and measuring. This provides parents and their children an ideal opportunity for conversations to develop while building language skills.

At bath time, encourage babies to explore the water with ice cubes, a bucket of water and fun tools. They’ll love splashing, stirring and discovering which objects float or sink. Bath time also provides an excellent opportunity for developing neck strength and head control by moving toys in front of them; just make sure that they’re securely supported while doing this! You could try singing songs while gently rocking them to music or gently jiggling them around in your arms; always aim for safe movements when dealing with newborns!


Toddlers enjoy engaging in sensory play. While it may appear messy or challenging to clean up after themselves, these activities play an integral part of cognitive development for kids.

As babies explore their world, they love listening to music and stories read aloud by adults. Additionally, they may begin understanding that objects and people make noise through tapping or crumpling paper – this makes a good opportunity to introduce objects like taping things together or crumpling paper to make noise! Try singing traditional nursery rhymes along with sneak-a-peek-a-boo games to your baby!

At this age, infants are learning how to focus their eyes and reach for objects with their hands. You can help your infant focus their vision by placing toys directly in front of them during tummy time or diaper changes and moving it frequently to encourage reaching and grasping. Give your baby different textures of toys like soft toys, rattles or cloth books with pages with varied textures as they explore reaching and grasping – soft toys rattles or cloth books with pages featuring different textures will all give him or her something different to play with – also make sure there are toys suitable for mouthing with appropriate toys taste-safe toys suitable for taste-safe toys which allow safe mouthing experiences!


Related Articles

Baby Discomforts

Managing Common Baby Discomforts

Find out how to manage common baby discomforts such as nausea, reflux, colic, diaper rash, and teething. Get tips and advice from experts and other parents.