Sensory play activities for babies aged 6 to 18 months do not need to be extravagant or over-planned. Everything is new and interesting at this age and can be totally mesmerising! Here are a few easy free sensory activities to get your little one off to the best start on their learning journey.
Outdoor Treasure Baskets
Treasure baskets are virtually free to create and take a few minutes to put together. They are natural and help to develop so many skills in babies this age. In this blog we have themed the baskets to different out door environments one for the countryside and the other for the beach.
You can change the theme or objects in baskets to keep it interesting and new to play with!
Examples of themed baskets: Shiny, smelly, textures, wooden, noisy or colours
DIY Sensory Board or Busy Board
Sensory board are commonly covered with keys, latches, knobs, locks, chains and other random things. Cut a board of plywood or wood and paint it or decorate the way you like. Then just attach all the stuff you have and voila! The picture below can offer some ideas for inspiration.
Hand and Feet Painting
Spread paint onto a tray, place large sheets of paper or left over wall paper on the floor for footprints or on a table for hand prints. Guide your baby’s hands or feet onto the paper to create their own personal masterpiece!
Top tip: Have a bowl with soapy water nearby to clean their hands or feet when they have finished!
With warmer days approaching it’s a good time to start enjoying sensory play outdoors (Less cleaning up too!) Simply fill a large container with water and allow your little one to splash around. Add empty bottles, jugs and funnels, to keep them engaged for longer!
Babies need to be supervised at all times while playing with water!
Make your own Kinetic Sand
Kinetic sand can be expensive to buy, however it is really cheap and easy to make yourself! Here’s how:
You will need:
- 1 cup of sand
- 1 tbsp. of corn flour
- A Drop of washing up liquid
- 1 cup of water
- A drop on food colouring
- Mix the sand and corn flour in a bowl
- Combine the water, food colouring and washing up liquid in a cup and stir until the water starts to foam
- Then gradually add the water mixture to the sand and corn flour, stirring as you go
- Continue to mix slowly until you have reached your desired consistency
- Add buckets and moulds and your kinetic sand is ready!
You might need some headphones for this one! But I promise you your baby will enjoy this immensely! Provide different sized saucepans, wooden and metal spoons and let your baby’s musical creativity flow!
Sponge painting creates a fun sensory experience by exploring paint and paint filled sponges.
If you have ever been to one of the Parenting teams baby classes you will always find bubbles! Babies use movement and senses to focus on the bubbles, to reach out and touch and feel them pop!
Just pop your baby in their highchair and give them some playdough to explore! This activity is perfect for little hands, to develop their pincer grasp, improve concentration and hand-eye coordination. For some simple playdough recipes, visit our blog here:
Please show us pictures of your babies enjoying their sensory play activities in the comments below. We may even share them on our social media pages!