“Sensory” is a buzz term right now. When I was teaching, “sensory” wasn’t on the radar. Which is sad to realize how long it’s been now since I was in the classroom. But, I digress. Sensory activities are ones that engage a child’s senses – preferably multiple senses at one time. Studies are showing that the younger kids are when introduced to sensory experiences, the better they are developing, and their brains are growing stronger, etc. So, here are two simple little sensory activities that you can throw together quickly, though they may require a trip to Dollar Tree.
Sensory Gel Bag – Squish! (engages sight, touch, sound and smell)
What you’ll need:
Some form of gel – be it hair gel, or body shampoo – can be colored, or clear and add your own food coloring. (I really like the apple body shampoo I got at Dollar Tree – it smells so YUMMY!)
Something to put in the bag – I used those little foam animals from the capsules you dissolve in water.
A good solid freezer bag (don’t use a regular bag – it WILL leak)
Some strong book/storage tape
Put tape around the three pre-sealed edges to ensure durability. Put your stuff in the bag, and seal it really tightly – getting all the air out that you can. Then, fold the zipper down and tape it closed. The awesome thing about the gel bag is it’s versatility. If you are in the put-everything-in-my-mouth phase, the bag works great taped to a window, where light can shine through, a closet door in a play room, or it works taped to a high chair table while you’re doing dishes and need Jr up off the floor. Or, if your Baby Bee doesn’t put things in the mouth, you can just as easily hand them the bag and let them squish and squeeze without attaching it to anything! Note – when you attach it to a window, especially, it makes great noises as they squish and slide their fingers up and down on the bag.
Sensory Bottle – Shake! (engages sight, sound, and touch – and possibly tasting the duct tape if your Baby Bee tries to eat it! ha!)
What you’ll need:
A little clear travel size shampoo bottle (or you could use a small empty water bottle that you’ve taken off the label)
Glitter / Sequins
Fill half of your bottle with baby oil. Then, add a little bit of water. Add your glitter/sequins, and duct tape the bottle closed so little fingers can’t get it open. Hand to baby to shake and have fun!! It’s not only visually appealing, it makes neat swooshing sounds, and it’s also good gross motor practice to shake! Note – you can also add a drop of food coloring if you like! Another added bonus to this activity is that it rolls away – and encourages Baby Bee to get active and mobile to follow – engaging their proprioceptive sense as well!
See how EASY it is to create these sensory activities for your baby? These two are something a super busy mom can find time for any day, once you’ve planned and have the supplies on hand. And they’ll last a really long time.