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Sensory Development and How to Practice
Your baby’s sensory development begins the moment they’re born and continues throughout toddlerhood. It’s an important development that helps shape their perception and learning abilities. There are many ways you can help encourage sensory development with your child and practice their skills in an age-appropriate way. Luckily, they are all so simple, and likely things you already do with them every day. Keep reading to learn more about sensory development, as well as the best sensory development toys you need to help with that head start.
What is Sensory Development?
Sensory development in early childhood is important for overall health and well-being. It forms the foundation of a child’s learning and perception. According to Marike de Witt, author of “The Young Child in Context: A psycho-social Perspective “, babies start reacting to sensory stimulation from birth. They turn their head toward sound, follow objects with their eyes, and discover their hands and feet by touching them.
Later, they start to develop hand-eye coordination and use their hands to touch something they see. They then begin eye-hand-mouth exploration by putting things into their mouths, which stimulates the sense of taste. Much later their visual depth perception develops, enabling them to move safely without falling down stairs or walking into things.
De Witt adds that although the senses develop independently, by the end of the first year babies achieve sensory integration. They can then process information from multiple senses together – especially vision and hearing.
How Can I Encourage Sensory Development With My Child?
As parents, especially new parents, it can be easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of when your child should be achieving milestones. Just remember: Comparison is the thief of joy! Remember that babies do things in their own time, but there are still many ways you can encourage sensory development with your child. They include age-appropriate sensory activities, singing, reading, talking, and playing with sensory development toys.
Age-Appropriate Sensory Activities
One of the best ways you can encourage sensory development with your child is through age-appropriate sensory activities. Now, the term “age-appropriate” is so important here: You want to make sure you are not jumping ahead, as well as boring them with old skills. In order to keep their brain stimulated and engaged, you can follow these general guidelines: (source: https://pathways.org/sensory-activities-0-18-mont...
- Hang a colorful mobile above baby’s crib to provide visual stimulation.
- Encourage baby to hold or shake an age-appropriate rattle.
- Play with baby in a variety of positions.
- Provide plenty of skin-to-skin contact with a parent or caregiver.
- Hang a mirror on the wall
- Encourage baby to touch fabric with different textures
- Lift baby up and down and play in different positions to help develop their sense of movement and balance
- Find balls with different textures and colors
- Encourage using both hands to examine objects
- Turn pages in a board book
- Observes environment from a variety of positions – while lying on back or tummy, sitting, crawling, and standing with assistance.
- Play peek-a-boo
- Have baby look at their reflection in the mirror and point out each body part.
- Encourage baby to crawl over, under, and through various objects in your home.
- Blow bubbles for baby. Let baby touch them, watch them soar through sky and pop when they land.
- Fill up a bucket with blocks of different sizes, textures, and colors. Ensure that none are small enough to be swallowed if baby decides to explore them with their mouth. Allow baby to explore the blocks with all of their senses.
Sing, Read, and Talk
One of the simplest ways you can encourage sensory development in your baby is through things you likely already do every day anyway: Singing, reading, and talking!
These three things help with their sense of hearing, speaking by imitating your sounds, movement through dancing or turning pages, and social skills. Babies love, and prefer, high-pitched, sing-songy voices—as we’re sure you’ve already noticed!
Sensory Development Toys
Ready to elevate sensory development playtime? You’ve got to get your hands on our high-quality sensory development toys! Whether it’s bubble play, texture play, color matching, or more, all of our sensory development toys check all the boxes: Mess-free, toxin-free, quiet, stimulating, and easy to clean!
Spike Sensory Development Toys
Spike Fij-Its offers a dual-texture design that features soft and durable silicone spikes on one side, and a smooth surface on the other. Our product testers couldn’t put them down! For even more tactile fun, squeeze two Fij-it toys together and enjoy the satisfaction of peeling them apart. Made from 100% food-grade silicone, SPIKE Fij-it™ toys are hypoallergenic and non-toxic, as well as BPA, phthalate, latex, and odor-free. Naturally antibacterial silicone is easy to clean and can be sterilized for deep cleaning.
If you want something a little more discreet that fits in the palm of your hand, our adorable Spike Balls are going to be your child’s new best friend. Made in a cute pineapple-like shape and three stimulating colors, kids (and adults!) of all ages won’t be able to put them down. Easy to fit in the palm of your hand, these balls have tons of textures and ways to enjoy them. Squish, pop, float, toss, or pull—these balls will help keep focus and fulfill sensory needs.
Our SPIKE pencil gripper and topper are ideal for children for even more discreet sensory fun! Just pop on your pencil to twirl, squeeze, and squish your studies away. Everyone, young and old, can enjoy Spike, especially those with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Anxiety, Focusing issues, ADD, ADHD, Sensory Processing Disorders, and other Attention issues. Perfect for classroom, home or office. Spike is great for students, teachers, parents, therapists, and more. Tactile and kinesthetic learners will love Spike, too.
Spike Sensory Bubble Blower with Mess-Free Botanical Solution
Long-lasting, mess-free bubbles are here: Say hello to SPIKE’s Sensory Bubble Play! This sensory bubble toy gives tons of bubbles without the mess or soapy gooey residue. Perfect for sensory play, learning, bubble therapy, the classroom, birthday parties, special events, and more, this uniquely designed bubble system is non-toxic, calming, and worry-free for parents. This bubble toy is made with plant extracts, coconut oil, and purified water and is easy on sensitive skin.
If your toddler loves bubbles, but you hate the mess and constantly dipping a wand into a messy jug, you’ll love how simple, easy, and mess-free this bubble blower is! Simply pour bubble solution into the tray, dip, and twirl the blower, and start blowing bubbles!
For more fun tips, parenting ideas, and high-quality products for the whole family, visit us at Innobaby.com!