Sensory play is an important part of childhood. It stimulates the senses and helps the brain process and learn.
As parents we naturally want to protect our babies- which oftentimes means depriving them from sensory activities that help them develop. Below are some sensory activities for babies that will stimulate their senses and help them learn about the world around them.
I would suggest that these activities are for babies older than 6 months- at the very least they should be sitting alone. I also want to stress that these are activities to do with your babies. They require supervision and your undivided attention.
Quick and Simple Sensory Activities for Babies (6+ months)
Below are simple sensory activities you can do with your baby. Most are completely free and use items you already have lying around the house. Just let you baby explore and have fun watching her learn and process!
How many times do we see pictures of babies covered in spaghetti sauce? That’s because food is one of the first sensory activities for babies! They love to play and squish and just explore the different textures of the foods they are given.
A younger baby can be sat in a high chair with a handful of cheerios or puffs. You can let them finger paint with edible “paints”. Give them foods of different tastes and textures to explore.
The above picture is of my daughter, about 7 month old at the time, squishing cherry tomatoes. We had just come in from harvesting some out of the garden and I needed to make dinner. She was a little cranky, but had crawled over to the tomato basket and pulled one out.
The cute dress she was wearing probably got stained, but she squished these tomatoes for a good 20 minutes! And that’s a pretty good span of independent play for a 7 month old!
Books are a great sensory activity for babies! We kept a small basket of board books where the baby could reach at all times.
The pictures in board books are usually bright and colorful, and very stimulating to the eyes. The books are small and fit just right in tiny hands. This is one that doesn’t require a ton of supervision, unless you have a very oral baby who would chew on the cardboard.
Not only are books a great sensory activity- but turning the pages is great for fine motor skills and it sets your child up for a lifelong love of reading!
I know, I might lose you with this one, but hear me out! This picture may look like a choking hazard waiting to happen- but my daughter ONLY played with these things when I was right there. She usually had her pacifier in AND she was not an oral baby.
BUT I don’t know how many times pulling out a bowl of tiny objects saved my sanity with this girl. She loved little bowls of marbles, beads, colorful rubber bands, golf tees, etc.
It’s just like a sensory bin for older toddlers, but on a much smaller scale with only one object to explore.
Added bonus- your baby will develop a killer pincer grasp!
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Water is fun at any age, right? Even if your baby is scared of bath time, she may love to play in water!
My sons loved play outside with a small tub of water. Give them some spoons or cups or other objects to wash or pour water with.
My youngest LOVED a bucket of water with water balloons floating inside- and it’s a great way to keep cool on a hot summer day!
Being outdoors is the ultimate sensory activity for babies. Don’t fret about them getting dirty or even getting dirt on their hands (and in their mouths) because that can actually strengthen the immune system.
This doesn’t have to be fancy- my oldest son would sit in a pile of mulch outside our apartment when he was 7 months old.
Fall leaves. Mud. Grass clippings. Sand. Gravel driveways. All good sensory activities for babies.
Pictured above is my daughter playing a bounty of early spring flowers gathered for her by her big brothers! (See that flower sensory activity here!)
How does your baby explore the world?