Sensory Moments for Children: Part 1

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Sensory moments literally take a moment and will boost your child’s brain activity building strong links between the neurons in their brains. Try some of these suggestions at home today!

 

In our last post from Barbara Sher, The Games Lady, she discussed the importance of sensory moments and wanted to give our readers some examples that you can do at home. Here is part 1 of the different sensory moments you can try today for children aged newborn to three years old.

By Barbara Sher, The Games Lady 

HEARING

  • Make interesting rattles by filling empty medicine or film containers with various materials such as pennies, salt and rice.
  • If you often have music playing, put on a different type or change the radio station to something new.
  • Bang on an empty oatmeal container or upside down plastic bowl. Try out different little rhythms while you are hitting on it. If your child is young or physically challenged, put the spoon in his hand with your hand over his. Make little rhythms together.
  • Play clapping games and try out different ways to clap your hands and clap each others hands. Hear the difference between clapping quickly and clapping slowly.
  • Sit outside and listen to a bird singing and try and imitate the sounds you hear. A dove sound is a long sound while other birds give short chirps.
  • Put on some music, take hands and move to the rhythm of the sounds. Some music invokes a swaying movement, while others make you want to move your hands up and down.
  • Make different sounds with your voice to imitate—try high squeaky sounds such as “eee eee eee “ or low throaty sounds like “oooooo.”

TACTILE

  • Lick toes!
  • Blow gently on your baby’s skin. Tell her what you are doing, “Mommy is blowing on your shoulder”, “I’m blowing on your palm…do you feel that?”
  • Blow on her skin using a straw.
  • Put unscented body lotions on her skin.
  • Put mustard or ketchup on the high chair tray for finger painting.
  • Place ice cubes on the high chair tray to pick up (Exchange them for bigger ones when they melt and are small enough to swallow).
  • Massage their arms, legs, hands and feet.
  • Tickle with a feather or lightly rub with a cotton ball.
  • Put different feeling materials on the table to swish around such as cornstarch, baby powder, whip cream, yogurt or shaving cream. (Which you use depends on if your child puts everything in their mouth or if they are past that stage and can use their hands for feeling.)
  • Ask your child to close their eyes and tell you which part of their body is being touched. For example, put your finger on the back of their knee, or neck or elbow. Can they say where they are being touched? If they can’t talk yet, can they then touch you in the same spot where you touched them?
  • Put dabs of shaving cream or ice cubes in their bath tub to try and catch.
  • Put objects in a sock such as a comb, key or paper clip and they put their hand in and guess what it.
  • Put water in a large basin or sink, add sponges to squeeze or floating ping pong balls to catch.
  • Hide objects in a bowl of raw rice or birdseed to find.

SMELLS

  • Find different spices like coffee, vanilla, orange or coconut oil to smell.
  • Go around the yard or neighborhood and pick different flowers to smell.
  • Place fresh flowers by her bed.
  • Keep your child in the kitchen when cooking to smell the aromas. Lean over when you’re cooking and waft some of the spices under your darling’s nose. Did the smell of cinnamon make him smile? How’d he react to basil?
  • Add different scents to your child’s bathtub.
  • Put different smells in small containers; lemon, garlic, flowers, peppermint, peanut butter, or anything with a strong smell, guess what it is, or talk about where you might smell it.

 

Learn more in Part 2 of this article.

 FOR MORE OF BARBARA SHER’S GAME IDEAS GO TO: amazon.com/author/barbarasher-gameslady​

previously published on parentingspecialneeds.org in July 2010

photo by Matteo Bagnoli CC BY -SA 2.0

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