Sensory development starts as soon as your baby is born; the first moment she sees you she instinctively wants to snuggle in and breast feed. Babies first recognize people by their smell and touch. A baby’s sight develops over time, they can see in a range of eight to ten inches and recognize black, white and red colors. Babies learn through putting objects into their mouth, this is because the tongue is their most sensitive organ. Touch is something that infants love, it gives them a sense of security and helps them recognize people and objects.
Touch and Texture
To assist sensory development encourage your baby to feel different textures and explore her surroundings. There are various activities that help with sensory development. As touch is a vital part of a baby’s development and can be encouraged from birth I will start this series by introducing new borns and infants to different textures.
One of the main ways that a child explores is through touch. You can make this experience more interesting by giving her a material book. There are lots of these books in the shops but I would like to show you how to make your own.
All you need is some different types of material; you can use old clothes, table cloths or towels. Cord and silk are great ones to use as well as linen and fur.They all have a slightly different feel, these will introduce your baby to soft, rough and smooth textures.
To make the book you will need to;
- Cut out sections, these could be square or circle shapes.
- Make a hole in each corner and string them all together.
- Sew around the edges to stop any fraying.
- It can be tied to a cot or used whilst your baby is playing on the floor.
Another wonderful tool for encouraging sensory development is a little box that I call the “Treasure Box”. This is basically a box of any size filled with all kinds of objects or materials that you can find. The contents can be changed every couple of months to keep it more interesting. The idea is to fill the box with objects that your baby can explore and may not have seen or touched before. Try to stay away from filling up the box with children’s toys.
You can use a shoe box, a basket or even a plastic container. If you’re the creative type you could take a shoe box and decorate it with all kinds of stickers and materials.
What you put in the box is really up to you, some of my favorite things are silk scarves, home-made music shakers, wool balls and wooden spoons. The older your baby gets you can change the type of objects you put in the box, things like paper towel rolls, silver spoons, old c.d’s, shells e.t.c
This box will become an integral part to your baby’s routine, they will love exploring the objects and you will see their excitement when the box comes out.