Sensory play ideas for babies

Being a first time parent can be quite overwhelming in many respects. We know that a baby needs the basics to survive, such as food and sleep. But there is also the play component which can be very beneficial in the first year of a baby’s life. Here are some play ideas that you can do in the comfort of your home with things that you can find around the house.  

Sensory play ideas for babies

1. Teach them object permanence 

Babies absolutely LOVE peek-a-boo games. You can do this by draping a muslin cloth over the baby’s face and pulling it off and saying “peek a boo”. If you don’t have a cloth, simply cover your face with your hands. As your baby responds with laughter and giggles, he/she is also learning object permanence – things still exist even when you can’t see them!

Another way to learn object permanence is by hiding a toy under a cloth and pulling the cloth away for the baby to see that the toy is still there. Babies will love to see this over and over again!

2. Strengthen their eye muscles

Babies are born with vision, however as your baby grows and develops outside the womb, we can help to strengthen those eye muscles.

Attach a little attractive toy to a piece of string. Lay your baby down on their back and hold the toy approximately 30cm above the baby’s eye level. Once he/she has focused on the toy, start to swing it slowly side to side. As your baby continues to focus and watch the toy move, he/she will strengthen their eye muscles and the eyes will learn to work well together. You can also do this by wiggling your fingers side to side for your baby to watch. 

3. Smells help create memories

Introducing new smells to babies can help create new memories for them. Exposing your baby to new and different smells allows your baby to explore and experience the world in a new way.

Have a basket of fruits and allow your baby, under direct supervision, to have a smell and touch of new fruits. Lemons, oranges, pineapple, and avocado have interesting textures and smells. Soaps and herbs can also be used to allow the baby’s sense of smell to be developed. 

4. Everyday items are fun

A laundry basket can keep a baby entertained. They are great to seat a 6 month plus baby in. Tie toys to the laundry basket and allow your baby to explore the items. If the baby throws the objects away, they can’t go far as they will be tied to the basket, making it easier to clean up. Babies love sitting in laundry baskets!

5. Make some noise

Homemade shakers can be a lot of fun and inexpensive to make. Grab hold of an empty water/milk/drink bottle. Fill the bottle with some rice or pasta. Approximately 10-20cm worth. If you like, colour the rice or pasta with some food colouring before filling the bottle. Have fun with your baby while shaking about!

6. Help their brain development

Exploring textures can be great fun and incredibly good for a baby’s development. As your baby touches new textures, it helps create connections in their brains. Find a variety of materials with different textures and allow your baby to feel and explore. Lay them on the floor for crawlers to crawl about. For the younger ones, gently touch them on their hands or feet to feel.


X click to search