Babies love to feel textures and interacting with different materials exposes a developing baby to different feels, all part of exploring the world around them. Create a 'Sensory Basket' (or a plain old box!) at home or in their play setting by finding interesting objects that you can bring out whenever you wish. For safety, look out for large objects that don't shed parts and be aware that there will be a tendency to explore items by mouth, so ensure that they are clean. Here are some ideas of objects that you might include:-
- Scrubbing sponge: find a soft sponge with a scrubbing pad surface
- Pine cone: dry out a large pine cone
- Mirror: look for a plastic mirrored surface rather than a glass one
- Crinkly paper: look for crinkly wrapping paper with a foiled surface
- Brush: look out a new hairbrush or nailbrush
- Sanding block (available at DIY stores) or pummice stone (from a pharmacy)
- Ball of wool: leave it wound up
Look around the house for other objects that your little ones can explore with touch. Sifting through draws you will quickly come across items that are safe for babies to handle and that offer a fw moments of fun to explore and sense!
An ice cream cone full of lovely swirly ice cream can be an expensive treat for little ones when you are out, so why not save the money, invest in some treats and serve unique ice creams at home instead!
Get some ice cream cones and simple vanilla ice cream. Invite the children to use a spoon to ease out some ice cream and mash it down into the cone.
Put a selection of the following in some little dishes and let the children create!
- Coloured or chocolate sprinkles
- Chocolate buttons
- Fruit drops
- Blueberries or raspberries or strawberries
- Fruity sauce
Invite your little ones to be creative... look into the dishes and describe the shape and colour of what they see. Pink and yellow strands, brown round buttons etc. You could let them taste each one too and ask what it tastes like? Then, let them loose to decorate their ice creams
This activity is learning new words (as well as enjoying a tasty treat!) so for each bowl use and encourage words to describe what you are doing. "Sprinkle" the coloured sprinkles; "pop in" the chocolate buttons; "dip" in the fruit drops; "place" the berries; "dollop" the sauce etc.
Talk about the texture of the ice cream and the taste of the toppings. Use lovely descriptive words that describe the what your doing in a new and fun way.