Baby sensory classes are just one of the options available, and while it’s great to get out and meet other mums and babies; it’s not essential that you give your baby the experience in a class setting.
What is sensory play?Little ones learn through what they see, hear and touch. These experiences help to build connections in the brain that help them to begin to understand the world around them. Sensory play aims to tap into the way babies’ brains develop, encouraging exploration to aid progress and provide lots of fun too.
What are the benefits of sensory play for babies?As well as providing bonding time for you and baby, sensory play stimulates babies’ motor skills; aids language development and can enhance their memory and problem solving abilities. Lots of colours, textures, light and soothing sounds are incorporated into this type of play, which makes it a great way to calm little ones down too.
Creating a sensory stationBaby sensory is all about stimulation, though it is helpful to have a quiet corner or a separate room, where you can concentrate on the objects you’re working with for the session. This area could well evolve into your child’s playroom, so don’t be afraid to make a few changes to free up some space (and keep the mess all in one area!).
If you’d like to create a dedicated play area that will grow with your child but don’t want to sacrifice a full room, you could consider fitting bi-fold doors to section some special play space. Doors like these from Vufold are designed with floor to ceiling panes for maximum flow of light and also provide an extra surface to work with during play!
Your sensory area should be warm and comfortable for both you and baby. You could use a play mat or soft baby blankets and cushions to give a comfortable base from which to explore. Think about including textiles with different textures and colours, but don’t forget you’ll need to wash items if any little accidents occur! Babies are often mesmerised by lights. So, if you’re planning on using some LED lights or even swapping the bulb in the room for a disco lightbulb for a session being able to close the curtains is a must.
When it comes to choosing items to introduce to your baby, don’t worry too much about buying expensive toys, though you will find lots of great options designed for sensory play available. Many parents choose to create an evolving box of sensory stimulating items, many of which can be found around the house. You do of course need to be mindful of safety when choosing things to put in the box and ensure you supervise their use. These could include:
- Rattles and tambourines
- Silk scarves
- Light reflective balls
- Feathered items
- Finger puppets
- Mesh bags that allow baby to explore textures within
- Wrapping paper and holographic card
- Foil blanket (the type runners use)
Do you attend any classes for babies and toddlers? If you’d like to get out and about more but can’t afford the cost of classes, check out what’s happening at your local library or Surestart centre.
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