Sensory Play Ideas For Baby Development

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Sensory play is a key factor in your child’s over all development. Sensory development begins before your baby is even born. In the womb your child is listening to your voice, sounds around you and playing with their fingers and toes. The five essential baby sensory development skills start with taste, touch, smell, sight and hearing. The best part is you do not have to “break the bank” buying expensive toys, most sensory play includes items you may already have at home!

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Scarlett has been an active baby since birth, actually my whole pregnancy. She is always on the go and wants to learn about everything. I knew I needed to come up with ways to keep her occupied. While on Pinterest, I kept seeing several pins for sensory bags for sensory play and development. Being the crafty person I am, I decided to give it a try.

For fall-themed sensory activities, check out my post Sensory Fall Activities For Babies.

How To Make Sensory Bags For Sensory Play

Cinderella party confetti & plastic colorful fish bag

Currently the most popular bags have been hair gel with filler content. My first attempts were Cinderella party confetti and colorful plastic fish bags. In the Cinderella bag, Scarlett has different shapes and colors for her to move around in the bag. Since the confetti bag content is flat, her second bag I wanted an item with more dimension. I chose these colorful fish since they were a nice size for her to grasp and they had different textures.

sensory bag for sensory development
Confetti sensory bag

Items to make a gel sensory bag:

Fill your sandwich bag with a moderate amount of hair gel and pour in your bag contents. Adjust the amount of hair gel or contents for full coverage of the bag. Close bag and tape all four sides of bag.

If your child is wanting to put everything in their mouth, you can tape the bags to the floor for tummy time play. Both bags also make beautiful sun catchers. Tape to a window or glass door and enjoy! Scarlett enjoys them as sun catchers during her walker time.

sensory bag for sensory development
Plastic fish sensory bag

Water Bead Sensory Bag

I first came across water beads while doing a baby shower a few years ago. I knew they would work great for sensory play. Since Scarlett is at the age of being destructive, I was surprised the beads have held up fairly well. I also wanted to add a few googly eyes in the bag to break up the bright colors and add high contrast colors.

sensory bag for sensory development
Under the sea

Items to make a water bead sensory bag:

Sensory bags used during tummy time for infants can included high contrast images. You can use rice, sand or even hair gel as a filler item. If you use hair gel, I advised to laminate your images first.

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How To Make Sensory Bottles For Sensory Play

When Scarlett was a few months old, I noticed she LOVED playing with empty drink bottles. She liked the texture and the noise the bottle made. After the success of the sensory bags, I knew she would like a bottle as well. Like the sensory bags, use your imagination! Anything that will make noise or has bright colors, will be a great fit.

Sensory Bottles and Crawling

Scarlett is in the process of learning how to crawl. I wanted a sensory development item that would help with this skill. Remembering that I had glass beads from my wedding that were not being used, I placed the beads in a small juice bottle with a little water and glitter. Put a small ring of hot glue around the top of the bottle and screw on cap. The bottle is heavy enough for her to use effort to make it roll and learn that the bottle will not come back on its own. She has been showing interest in following the bottle after she pushes it, but is still working on arm coordination. Poor girl gets that from me, I am not coordinated at all!

Items to make sensory bottles:

  • Plastic bottle (preferably a small juice or water bottle)
  • Filler contents (rice, beans, water for little object to float, glitter, beads, etc.)
  • Hot glue gun

Remember you are only limited by your imagination! Be creative and make sensory play fun and educational.

For more sensory play ideas, read my posts:

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