Sensory play includes any activity that stimulates your baby’s senses: touch, smell, taste, sight and hearing. When babies first interact with the world, they don’t have words to describe what they encounter, but they do absorb information through their senses.
Newborns begin to hear sounds in the womb and recognize their mother’s voice from other voices at birth. They distinguish sweet and sour taste, gravitate toward pleasant smells, and are soothed by warmth and a soft touch.
Babies may be limited by their mobility and dexterity, but not their ability to interact with the world. I was hesitating if i do this play with my 6 1/2 months baby, but knowing that he will be amused touching the smooth bag with his tiny fingers and discovering many vibrant colors encouraged me to do so. At the end your babies will grow to be toddlers, so don’t be afraid of giving them sensory experience for a cognitive growth and later a fine motor skills.
This sensory play is mess free and safe. All you need to do is put some paint in a ziploc, close it and hand it to your baby to play and discover. I recommend edible paint, because your baby will engage all his senses during the process and might try to taste it as well. There is a small chance he can tear the bag if he already have a tooth.
While babies may not have the words to describe their experiences, sensory play can help babies build vocabulary and understand language. It’s your turn now to articulate his sensory experience by using words to explain your baby’s experience. For example; Touch: “oh Joud touch this bag of paint, it is so soft, do you feel it ?” or you can add warm water with the paint to tell him “touch it it’s warm…” Sight:“do you see the yellow color, wow it’s shiny, i see also the red color here…” Using descriptive words such as cold, warm, soft, shiny, smooth… in the context will help solidify the meanings of these words in a young child’s mind.
Kids at this age loose focus so quickly. After mixing the colors, Joud was trying to taste the paint but couldn’t obviously, he was insisting but at the end he lost patience. Such activities won’t last for long, it’s a matter of 10-15 minutes. As they grow you can extend the play duration by adding more elements to stimulate other senses.
It was a success, looking forward for our next activity. Happy playing!