How to Stimulate Your Baby's Senses through Play

Sharon Buchalter

Posted on January 27 2021

Baby Playing with the toys sitting on the lap of her mom

 

Babies start discovering the world through the five senses from the minute they are born. From staring at moving and vibrant objects to holding onto our pinkies, and sucking their fingers – senses are present everywhere. Senses play a significant role in babies' growth and remain important all their lives. Incorporating the five senses through play can be a fun way to bond with your kids and stimulate healthy brain growth.

Baby playing with toys

Stephanie Swinburne, an occupational therapist, says, 'Sensory play is the foundation for all higher-level learning. Every time you engage the sensory system, you're creating neural connections, which is good for complex developments'.

Playtime is the best way to encourage and develop your baby's sense of sight, smell, touch, hearing, and taste. Stimulating the senses can help your little in more than one ways and positively impact the physical and mental development.

Let's find out some fun ways to include sensory development in playtime, keep on reading!

Sight

Your baby starts making eye contact between two to four months. A fun way to stimulate the sense of sight is to let your child draw or paint while being blindfolded. When they aren't able to see, it will force them to use the other four senses. Babies generally rely on their tactile senses the most, and this game allows them to use their sensory-somatic nervous system that includes the joint, muscle, and touch sensation that tends to guide them on what their hands are doing.

Touch

Stimulate the sense of touch by encouraging physical development. You can place a toy within sight, but just out of reach so your baby can wiggle, roll, and stretch towards it. A simple way of doing it is by hanging a mobile rattle where they can try to grab and kick it.

Another fun way to stimulate touch is by making moon sand. Mix a cup of brown sugar with a cornflour cup and five tablespoons of oil. A soft sand-like mixture is formed, which can be used in multiple ways. Your baby can grab onto it, which makes the grip firm. It can be squeezed, smashed, and molded into different shapes and sizes. This is a fun activity for young toddlers, and the best part is that once playtime is over, the mixture can be stored in an airtight container for future use!

Hearing

It is essential to talk to your baby even if they can't comprehend words just yet. Let them respond in their ways, even if it is a smile, a nod, or a laugh. This acknowledgment allows and encourages the baby to develop language and communication.

Use technology and play different sounds of animals, birds and people to help them learn to differentiate each sound. Interacting with babies is very important as it contributes to the bond you share with them!

Smell

Make use of different aromas during playtime to stimulate the sense of smell. Cooking and baking using different ingredients like vanilla, chocolate, peppermint, and fruits can stimulate the sense of smell. This could be a fun way to make them identify different smells and even tastes. You can ask them which one they like and include some bitter ones too, like salt and vinegar, to differentiate between them.

The Final Word

Sometimes it's okay to get messy and dirty! Let children enjoy the learning process and allow them the freedom to do what they like. This will stimulate their senses and allow positive development. A water tub in the backyard, some paint tubes and paper, play dough, drums, and so on can be some great ways for sensory development and having a blast!

 

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