Sensory Play Activities for Your Infant
Updated: Apr 1
Simply put, sensory play is any type of play that involves any of the senses. Specifically, it refers to any activity that stimulates a young infant's senses of touch, smell, taste, sight as well as hearing. In addition, it also includes any activity which engages movement as well as balance.
It is widely studied that sensory play is important and essential for infant to learn more about the world around them in a natural and exciting way.
Today, we explore the benefits of sensory play activities, as well as some activities that you can explore with your infant!
Benefits of Sensory Play Activities
✔ Sensory play allows your infant to explore, discover, as well as create using motor skills.
✔ Through it, they learn movements like dumping, filling, as well as scooping.
Social & Emotional Development
✔ Sensory activities allow infant to play cooperatively or side by side, encouraging social interaction.
Playing together with other infant will help your child learn social skills.
✔ It is widely studied that our sense of smell is one of our strongest memory links. Sensory play involves our sense of smell, and works to aid in developing and enhancing memory. This is great for your infant’s education and future!
✔ During sensory activities, infant often use multiple senses at the same time. They would try to ask questions about their new experiences, leading to great conversations and opportunities for learning and language development, especially in terms of descriptive words.
✔ Tip: Ask your infant questions like "How does this feel?" or "What does that smell like?" to get them to learn descriptive words that they could use to ask even more questions in the future.
✔ Because infant are often fully absorbed and focused in the activities of sensory play, infant who are often agitated tend to calm down when doing sensory play.
✔ Moreover, sights and sounds help to promote mindfulness too!
Sensory Play Activity Ideas
Contrary to what many parents believe, sensory play activities do not always require a lot of preparation and hassle. Using items that are readily available at home, you can create many sensory play activities! So, do not avoid these activities and try them today!
Jelly is great for sensory play because your child can see it, smell it, taste it, and feel it. It also help that it is very simple to prepare:
● Make your jelly according to the instructions on the food packet.
● You can make them in multiple colours, using food dye or colouring.
● Let your infant put their hands in it, feel it, squish it, and have fun with it!
● You could even give them props like spoons and cups for them to explore around. Encourage them to scoop the jelly with a spoon and move them from one cup to another.
Homemade Play Dough
Play dough has a wide array of developmental, learning, and sensory benefits for kids!
● Mix water, flour, and different coloured food dyes together to achieve different coloured homemade play dough!
● Together with your infant, knead them into different shapes.
● Let your child mix the different colours together and cut them up however they like.
● Cut up some dish sponges into different shapes and sizes.
● Prepare bowls of kid-friendly paints of different colours.
● Prepare a large cloth or sheet of paper.
● Let your child create his/her own unique painting!
Chocolate Coin Treasure Hunt
This sensory motor treasure hunt activity for kids is the perfect way for them to explore the senses and their environment.
● Hide a few chocolate coins around the house and get your child to find the edible treasure!
● You can start out by hiding them in plain sight at first so that they will not feel overwhelmed.
● You can then slowly up the difficulty as your child grows.
● This is also a good opportunity to teach counting! As your child finds each chocolate coin, shout out the numbers and try to get them to repeat after you.
● Motivate your child by telling them that they can eat whatever “treasure” they find!
Sensory Play in School: Nurture Infant House
Since sensory play is tied to such a wide range of benefits, many parents make sure that the infant care that they choose to send their child to includes them in the curriculum.
At Nurture Infant House, our curriculum involves creative stimulation through the senses. Through these activities, your child’s five senses will be engaged in a specially designed environment that utilizes colours, play tools, textures, as well as sounds. We actively use all the sensory play activities described above.
As your child discovers cause and effect through play, he or she will also build up a sense of creativity, inquisitiveness, and exploration!
For parents living in the Tampines, Nurture Infant House has had 20 years of experience in caring for your beloved children.
Feel free to WhatsApp us for more enquiries.