The best Sensory Play Activities and Ideas for 1-year-old kids
For babies, every milestone counts as their “first”. And as parents, we are there to capture the moments of their acts, first crawls, first walks, eating the lemon, giggles, their baths where they just look so adorable splashing the water.
While these moments are cute, they serve a bigger purpose for their sensory development. Yes, even the splashes.
These activities come under certain sensory activities for newborns that experts recommend to help with meeting developmental milestones, and they’re easy enough for you to do at home.
For the proper and more importantly early brain development, your newborn needs to be exposed to such sensory experiences.
Do you remember the feeling of playing with sand? Feeling dry sand slipping through your fingers, or seeing how it takes shape when water is added.
Crushing and pressing and kneading – there’s something so satisfying about the entire process!
The reason this feels so good is that it’s such a sensory experience.
It involves our vision, smell, and most importantly, our skin. Our bodies have a natural affinity to sensory stimulation and that is why sensory play is particularly important for growing children whose senses are still developing.
Similarly, there are many such sensory activities for newborns that trigger your baby’s senses and encourage movement and learning. These are easy sensory activities for newborns and 1-year-olds that come under the category of Sensory Play.
We’ll start with Activities for Newborns.
Okay, but what exactly are the benefits of sensory play?
- Increases body awareness in children as they use different parts in different ways
- Stimulates all 5 senses, so every sense develops at the same pace
- Increases children’s comfort levels in unfamiliar situations and surroundings
- Allows young babies a gradual exposure to more stimuli rather than assaulting the senses at once
- Builds a foundation for problem-solving and other learning skills
- Helps calm children down and reduces anxiety
- Teaches basic scientific processes by studying cause and effect
- Increases neural connections in the brain
All these are basically skills that a newborn should develop to lay the foundation of being a prodigy kid.
Okay, what sensory activities should I make my newborn do?
Some of the significant activities that you should do with your newborn are mentioned below:
While it’s true, newborns can’t do much. But it’s only true to the extent of their physical abilities. Their mind is always active and they see and grasp what is around them. You as a mom can do a lot of things that would trigger sensory development in your newborn. These activities are;
- Cuddling With Your Newborn
- Talk To Your Little one
- Face to Face Time
- Sing a Song to Your Newborn
- Give Your Kid a Tummy Time
- Let Your Child Lay on Their Back
- Massage Your Baby’s Body
Now let’s move on to Sensory play activities for 1-year-olds
1-year-olds are full of energy. With their newfound ability to walk and constantly getting better at their speech, your 1-year-old is developing rapidly. Between 12 months and 2 years, kids are starting to do things on their own, seeing cause and effect, and actively engaging with others in their environment, all full of their new energy and enthusiasm.
Using this new energy and enthusiasm we can put them in certain activities and experiences that would trigger their cognitive and motor skills.
These activities for 1-year-olds are:
- Make sounds: Make music using common instruments like rattles, spoons, pots, and pans, bells, cymbals, and drums. Play along with your kid to encourage participation.
- Talk Through a Tube: Kids this age love to play with language, and this activity gives them an opportunity to practice new and novel sounds.Talking through a tube will intrigue your baby and you just have to see how your baby responds to the change in your normal speaking voice.
- Fetch Things: Make your little one fetch things and appreciate them helping you out. This activity will build your kid’s comprehension skills and fine motor skills.
- Count Fingers, Toes, and other things: Toddlers find counting very intriguing. Make your kid count their fingers and toes so that they kick start their counting skill development and build their analytical skills.
- Write in sand or rice: Looking to engage your kid in a learning activity? Use rice or sand, to teach your toddler alphabets, numbers, shapes, etc. You can also ask your toddler to participate. This will expose them to a new learning experience and also develop their fine motor skills.
- Pretend Play: Pretend play is another great activity to build a sense of responsibility and accountability in your kid. Your participation with your kid will also introduce your kid to teamwork. And all other sensory experiences will develop fine and gross motor skills.
- Stacking and Finding: You should also engage your toddler in stacking things like books, Tupperware, blocks, and anything that is stackable. This will help your kid develop dexterity and grasp the concept of big and small.
This will also inculcate the feeling of accomplishment building or being part of something which is very important to build confidence in your kid.
You can also create a basket of things made with stuffed toys and household stuff like small utensils, Tupperware, and whatever safe you can find and ask your toddler to find what you ask.
This will build their memory skills and make them know what those things are called.
So there you go, try these activities for your 1-year-old and we can guarantee you’ll see the difference.
So as a parent, a guardian, or a caregiver to infant(s) or toddler(s) – now you know the different methods and activities that will help stimulate your kid’s early brain development during different life stages – starting from infancy stage (0-1 years) up till their toddling stage (1-2 years), and beyond, with useful information that they can link to broader concepts as they begin to think in more advanced ways.
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