Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Baby Sensory Box

Back in November, when Sylvie was about 4 months old, we enrolled in a Baby Sensory class.  We did all sorts of neat things in the class to stimulate the babies in different ways.  Sometimes we used finger puppets, or mirrors, or lights.  One of the favourite games as a table cloth aquarium (I'll explain that in a future post, I promise!). 

Before the classes started, I did a few web searches on baby sensory activities, and kept coming back to the idea of a baby sensory box.  I grabbed an old sewing box that I wasn't using (which is covered in faux suede, a neat taxtile experience in itself) and threw in a bunch of things I thought Sylvie would enjoy touching or seeing.

At first, Sylvie would sit in my lap and pull things out.  She seemed to enjoy it, so we kept at it.  Lately though, Sylvie's interest in the box has increased dramatically.  She can sit easily on her own now, and is starting to lung forward (a precrawling move I assume), so she can also easily get into the box and pull out whatever catches her eye. 

It is a great activity for developing fine motor skills.  Sometimes it takes her several tries before she can grab what she is after and she is learning a lot about the world around her too.

I grabbed some photos today of Sylvie playing with her sensory box, as well as a photo including the type of things I have put in there for her to explore. 

Sylvie examining a shell

Do these two things fit together?

Developing fine motor skills - I want that red bow
and will work hard until I get it!

Keep in mind that everything will go in the baby's mouth!

A few tips:
  • I think it helps to have the items in a sturdy box that won't easily be pulled over. 
  • Keep the items in the same box or container, so the baby can start to recognise it and know "what to do" when they are playing with box.
  • This is definitely an "open play" activity.  There aren't any rules or expectations.  Just let baby touch and learn at his / her own pace and stop when she is no longer interested.
  • Not all items are strictly "baby safe" so this is an activity that requires parental supervision.  I probably don't need to say that since I'm sure everyone out there is generally supervising their six month old baby at all times, but there's the warning anyways.
  • Choose things that have different shapes, textures, materials, colours, sounds etc.

From Top Left: beaded necklace, wooden sheep, teething toy, silky scarf, knit ball
Middle from Left: ribbon, felted wool stripes, strawberry cage with cat toy inside, mirror, crinkly toy money
Bottom from Left: wooden baby brush, bottle with sparkly liquid, red bow, bottle with dry beans, small whisk, ribbon strap with velcro

There are a lot of resources online for baby sensory play.  I really love Play at Home Mom.  Blogs focusing on Montessori Schooling have great ideas too.

PS.  I had a shower and wrote this whole blog post while Sylvie played with her sensory box.  She loves it so much that I just created a portable sensory basket!


  1. I saw your pictures on FB of the sensory box and I'm so glad you did a blog post! Now...tell me about this sensory blanket!