BUBBLES – What is it about bubbles? Children of all ages go crazy for bubbles don’t they? They can chase them for hours on end and it is a real sensory experience.
THERE ARE LOADS OF BENEFITS OF BUBBLE PLAY INCLUDING:
hand-eye and foot-eye coordination, visual tracking skills, spacial awareness and a sense of direction, gross motor movement, balance and muscle tone development, oral motor skills, speech, hearing and language development and the overall calming effect they have on children.
If you don’t have a bubble machine then make your own bubble wand using a wire coat hanger, pipe cleaners or even cut the end of a bottle off and cover end with a sock. Pop into some fairy liquid and there you go!
MIRRORS – What’s a babies favourite thing to look at? A toy? No. A geometric shape? Not really. Your baby’s preferred view: a human face. They aren’t picky about whose face it is, though, so grab a mirror, and offer your baby a chance to gaze at her own!
Introduce your baby to their beautiful face by pointing at her reflection. Touch their nose, stroke their hair, gently pinch their ears, and name each feature as you go.
PAINTING (MESSY/NON-MESSY) This could be edible paint or simply paint you buy at the shops. They can explore paint through getting messy with their hands and feet or using tools such as a paint brush, a stick or a feather.
Or why not try popping a blob of paint in a sealed food bag and your child can explore the paint with their feet or hands. Drawing on it is pretty satisfying too with a cotton bud. Children like watching their lines appear and then disappear as the paint disperse.
SENSORY BOTTLES – These water and glitter sensory bottles are always very calming. Another bonus is that they are easy to make too.
Fill the bottle 3/4 of the way with water. Add 2 tablespoons oil (cooking or baby) and a few drops of food coloring. Add the small decorative items of your choice. Some ideas are glitter, sequins, little buttons or foil pieces.
MESSY PLAY – Children love exploring different textures. Ideas could include cereal, angel delight, peas, pasta or rice. You could simply add bowls and spoons with it or different animals.
Sensory and messy play is so important and beneficial for babies and younger children. Not only is it lots of fun, but there is a lot of learning going on when they are playing that you might not realise. When a child engages in sensory play and messy play, they are: Improving their communication skills, enhancing their memory, learning cause and effect, learning and developing new tastes, textures and smells, exploring shapes and colours, growing independence through play, developing fine motor skills to use for grasping and writing when they are older, learning new vocabulary and improving their social skills with other children.