Rich sensory experiences (like feeling different textures) help introduce fine motor hand movements, which can strengthen beginning writing skills as your baby grows. To lay a strong foundation for fine motor development and other beginning reading skills, explore some simple sensory materials with your infant.
- piece of cardboard or a box top (the inside of a diaper box works well)
- materials of different textures – ribbons, pom-poms, bubble wrap, fabric or felt, tin foil, feathers, straws, even a small non-breakable mirror
- hot glue gun
Step 1: Select odds and ends from around the house that are safe and fun for your little one to look at, touch and explore.
Step 2: Cut cardboard or a box top to a size that you can comfortably hold while engaging with your baby.
Step 3: Cut a variety of the sensory materials to fit on the cardboard or box top.
Step 4: Use hot glue to secure all of your sensory materials to the box top and let it dry. Once the board is dry, turn it over and pull on the materials to make sure they are secure and can’t be easily pulled off by baby.
Step 1: Find a comfy chair to sit in with your baby, or lay a blanket on the floor for tummy time.
Step 2: Hold the sensory board you’ve made within easy reach of your baby and allow him to explore with his hands. If he doesn’t reach out to touch the material right away, that’s okay. Give him some time to explore with his eyes first.
Step 3: When he shows you that he's ready to explore, gently place his hand in yours and explore the sensory materials together. Make sure to follow your baby’s lead. Watch him as he engages with the materials and give him time to explore each texture. As he touches each material, talk to him about how they feel or the sounds they make. You might say:
This is fuzzy, like fur.
This sounds crinkly.
Look at the red stripes.
Step 4: Continue this activity for a long as your baby shows interest.