More and more parents are becoming aware of how their child is developing. Sensory games can help. We suggest how to stimulate the senses of your offspring
Nowadays in stores you will find a lot of colorful toys – playing, singing, dancing. It turns out, however, that you often do not have to spend money at all to create a game that will occupy your child for a long time, and also positively affect its development.
What are sensory games for?
Sensory games are games which aim primarily at stimulating the senses and familiarizing the child with various materials and objects (also those which arouse anxiety or fear). If the child has problems with sensory stimuli – processes them in an inappropriate way – this may in the future prove for example problems with concentration, motor coordination, problems with feeding or hypersensitivity to some stimuli
Sensory games to support the sense of touch
It is important to activate the sense of touch when playing with the baby. What games can be used for this?
1. Sensory pool
Prepare a pool (perhaps in a cardboard box, a playpen, or even a crib) with various textures, shapes and materials. Put there, for example, colorful balls made of plastic, rubber with spikes, blocks of foam, sponges. A child who is about 6 months old will certainly be interested in these objects, will alternately take them in his hands, check their hardness, etc. This kind of play will also be useful in the case of a baby who is not very young. Such a game will also work for toddlers who are not yet sitting – just lay them on their tummy and arrange the objects so that they are within their reach
2. Fun with Kisiel
Playing with kisiel will definitely end up in a mess, but it’s tasty and very developmental! You can buy ready-made jelly from a bag or cook it yourself (water with potato flour and fruit). It’s worth to make it colorful. You can pour the jelly from cup to cup, squeeze your hands in it, make boats out of your hands and scoop the mass, wash your hands with the jelly, draw on it with your fingers, etc. Ideas abound!
Sensory games to support the sense of balance
From an early age, it’s a good idea to invent games that will have a positive effect on balance – your child’s vestibular system
1. Rock your baby
Babies love all kinds of rocking and swaying. It is a myth that it is better not to do it, because the toddler will get used to it. Well, using hammocks and rocking chairs for children has a very good impact on later maintenance of balance by the toddler. A great idea is to rock the baby in a blanket. Adults grab the blanket from both sides, and the child lays down in the middle. Parents gently rock the baby, which is not only fun for him but also allows him to relax and calm down
2. Swing your baby from side to side
A very good game, which also prevents asymmetry, is to gently turn the baby. This can be done, for example, during changing or lying down together. It’s a good idea to sing a song to your toddler while turning him sideways or teach him the parts of the body
Sensory games that affect the sense of sight
From the first days of life it is worth ensuring that the child is surrounded by contrasting images, such as black on white background. Nowadays, you can buy special cards to hang on the crib. You can also watch them with your child, show him different boards and tell him what is on them
2. Mirror hares
A very cool game, which will appeal to every toddler, are the hares on the wall, which are released with a mirror. The flashing and disappearing light is very interesting for the toddler and requires him to focus.
Sensory games to support hearing
For toddlers, you can play with rattles, sing together, and change the tone of voice (this is always interesting to a toddler). The best fun, however, is to make your own instruments – from pots, bowls, pea bottles, nut boxes, etc. – which is great even for toddlers.
Sensory play for deep sensation
- Massaging your baby has an excellent effect on his proprioception, or deep feeling. It is good to massage your baby with balls, for example.
- Children love drawing on the body. You can draw hearts or letters on their back, for example, and the child has to guess what you have drawn. Another idea is to make a massage sandwich – the child imagines that he is a slice of bread, and we pretend to spread butter on it, put vegetables, cheese, etc
Main photo: Jelleke Vanooteghem, source: unsplash.com