Month 10: Top 10 Sensory Activities for your 10 month old

Josh’s 10 Month Story

3…2…1… Blast Off!!! Up I go… as I climb up this slide I fly up to the moon. Oh no… down I go. OK let’s try this again. 3…2…1… Blast Off!!! Here we go again! Up… up… up. I made it! As I step off my rocket ship I am super excited to explore the moon’s surface and see what new adventures await me. Stop!!! I see a strange creature approaching from the distance. Oh wait… It’s just Luka from next door… Ok… here we go. The gravity feels so different here. As I crawl through this strange terrain I see a huge pit of balls. In I go…. Weeee!!! I Love the Moon!! I think I will squish and swim in here for a while before I take on my next adventure!

Until next month.

Lots of smiles, Josh

moon exploration

What to expect from your 10 month old

Gross Motor Skills:

Lots of movement is happening at this age. Your little one can now crawl, pull themselves to standing, squat while holding on, sit back down from standing and cruise around while holding on to the furniture.

Fine Motor Skills:

Your little one is getting better at using their pincer grasp (using the tip of their thumb and pointer finger) to pick up small objects.

They may start placing smaller items into larger containers.

They will be able to hold an object in one hand while doing something with the other.

They continue practicing their coordination skills. An example can include picking up food from their tray and then placing it in their mouth.

Communication Skills:

By 10 months your little one can understand and follow simple instructions such as ‘clap hands’.

They should respond to the sound of their name and point to simple objects such as ‘car’ or ‘cat’.

 

Sensory Activities for a Healthy Sensory Lifestyle

1. Messy play: Noodle fun

Noodle fun

Skills Developed Targeted Senses
Fine motor skills and hand eye coordination Tactile sense & gustatory sense (if the noodle is consumed)

How to Play:

To start, cook some long noodles.  Once cooled place them into an empty container in front of your child. As they explore the textures let them glide their hands through it, pick it up and squish it. They may even use their two hands to pull the long noodles apart.

If your little one is not enjoying the texture maybe give them a long wooden spoon that they can poke around with. Once they become more comfortable they may be tempted to touch the noodles directly.

2. Bubble swimming pool

Skills Developed Targeted Senses
Fine motor skills, hand eye coordination, bilateral coordination and balance skills Tactile, vestibular & proprioceptive skills

How to Play:

This is a variation of splashing around in a baby pool. Fill the baby pool with an inch or so of water and add some bubble bath to it. As with any water activities make sure that an ADULT is always present and supervising.

This will be a more slippery play so make sure you keep your hands close by just in case they start slipping. You may also add some cups and water toys for additional grasping, pouring and splashing fun.

3. Grab & Let go!

egg carton

Skills Developed Targeted Senses
Grasping & releasing, hand eye coordination, bilateral coordination, crossing midline Tactile and proprioceptive senses

How to Play:

Equipment needed: An empty egg carton & objects of various sizes and shapes (they need to fit into the egg carton)

To set up, place the empty egg carton and a variety of objects in front of your baby. At first, give them the opportunity to explore everything in front of them. Let them grasp the objects, squeeze them, bang them together, throw them. This exploration is very important. An added benefit is when you use lots of language during this process.

Once they become familiar with everything in front of them, demonstrate the activity. Pick up one of the objects and put it into one of the grooves of the egg carton. Then do a couple more. Initially they may just want to take objects out. After they’ve had a go, encourage them to put some of the objects in.

Have fun with it and remember that it may take few times before they are actually able to complete the task.

4. Advanced crawling exploration

Crawling at 10 months

Skills Developed Targeted Senses
Body awareness, strengthening of shoulders, arms, developing arches in their hands (required for fine motor skills), coordination between right and left sides of the body Tactile, vestibular and proprioceptive senses

How to Play:

As your baby strengthens their crawling skills and becomes even more curious about their surroundings we can provide them with opportunities for more challenging crawling fun!

Some ideas include:

  • Obstacle courses that include home made mazes. These can be made from cushions, pillows or small gym mattresses
  • Going up ramps or small slides
  • Crawling through tents and tunnels
  • Crawling through various surfaces or human/man made ‘speed humps’ (Child crawls across a parent that is lying down or pillows that are spread out all over the room)

5. On the look out!

Exploration at 10 months

Skills Developed Targeted Senses
Fine & gross motor skills, hand eye coordination and motor planning (ability to conceptualize, plan and carry out an unfamiliar task) ALL senses

How to Play:

You have probably noticed that your little one is very curious. Toys can entertain them for a little while but it doesn’t completely satisfy their curiosity. Make sure you provide them plenty of opportunity both outside and inside to explore.

Wherever you let them explore, make sure the environment is safe for them. Not sure how to start? Here are some ideas:

  • Let them take the lead and you follow them wherever they go
  • INDOORS:
    • Let them open and close drawers and explore their contents
    • Let them explore zippers on large objects such as couch cushions
    • Maybe they can get into your closet and explore your clothes, shoes
  • OUTDOORS:
    • Check out the trees, acorns on the ground, dig through sand with their hands, explore the playgrounds etc

6. Balloon Play

Balloon play

Skills Developed Targeted Senses
Grasping and eye hand coordination Tactile & proprioceptive senses

How to Play:

Balloons! So fun and simple. There are many ways to play with balloons.

At this age though, give them a balloon and let them play. And YES it may pop!

I don’t believe you need any special instructions when playing with balloons at this age. You may however see your little one grab it, bang it, squeeze it, move it around in all directions. They may throw it or it may fly out of their hands and then they will be crawling after it. So much fun and can be very colorful if you include a few balloons of various colors.

7. Object permanence

Skills Developed Targeted Senses
Object permanence Visual and tactile senses

How to Play:

This game, is one of the ways you can teach your baby about object permanence. Object permanence is understanding that objects or people still exist even when we can’t see them. Understanding this concept is an important cognitive milestone. To review the specific stages of object permanence, check out the Wikipedia page.

To get started, get your baby’s attention. Then pick a toy and hide it under a cloth or a small towel. See if they will be able to find it. If they struggle you may leave the toy partly uncovered. You can also hide toys behind books or under a bowl or a container.

Another way of developing object permanence is through playing games such as peek-a-boo. Playing peek-a-boo with parents is also a great way to help your child through separation anxiety. It will help them understand that “even though I can’t see mom/dad, she/he will come back!”

8. Slide and grab

Skills Developed Targeted Senses
Coordination between right and left sides of the body, strengthening of legs, balance, grasping, hand eye coordination and motor planning (ability to conceptualize, plan and carry out an unfamiliar task) Visual, proprioceptive, tactile and vestibular senses

How to Play:

This activity is fun to play and encourages your little one to do more furniture cruising.

First, encourage your little one to stand up and hold on to one end of the couch. Then, entice them to move to the other side by placing a desirable object or a toy on the other side of the couch. The aim of the game is to get them to cruise to the other side of the couch while holding on. Once they grab the toy and start interacting with it you may even see them standing for a few seconds.

This activity can be repeated numerous times. Really until your little one loses their interest.

9. Playing with food

Food play at 10 months

Skills Developed Targeted Senses
Fine motor skills, hand eye coordination Tactile, gustatory (taste), olfactory (smell), visual and proprioceptive senses

How to Play:

If you haven’t started to let your baby explore their food through their hands and mouth, you may seriously consider it. Yes, they will get messy. Yes, there will be clean up. However getting messy is part of the process of learning to eat.

Through touch they learn about the properties of the food. They will learn about their texture. They will figure out how much force to place on different types of food without squishing them.

Make sure you also give them a spoon so they start to explore how to use it. Be aware their accuracy is yet to be developed.

So let’s all embrace the mess and get some memorable photos!

10. Blanket ride

Skills Developed Targeted Senses
Balance and coordination Vestibular and proprioceptive senses

How to Play:

A great game that is sure to bring on some laughs. Start by placing a medium to large blanket on the floor. Next, sit your baby on the blanket. Ready… set…go! Let’s go for a ride!

Pull your baby around the room making gentle turns. You can sing songs or just make engine or train sounds as you move your little one around. If your baby tumbles over, stop and reposition and start again.

Note: Please ensure you keep checking in on your baby and move at a slow speed during the blanket ride.

Summary:

So there you have it. My top 10 Sensory Activities for your 10 month old that you can do today to help their development.

These are just a few activities that are bound to spark other ideas. Just remember that every new sensory experience is helping your child’s growth and development.

Remember: Each baby develops at their own pace. If your child is not ready or not interested in these months’ activities, just try them again in a few weeks.

~ Urszula

Disclaimer: The activities in this blog are intended for sensory play. They are not a replacement for treatment of children with Sensory Processing Disorder, are not medical advice and should not be used in place of the care of a medical doctor or other qualified healthcare professional. These activities should be facilitated and supervised by an adult. All activities are to be performed at your own risk and in no event shall Sensory Lifestyle be liable for any damages.

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Occupational Therapist Registered & Licensed, Associated Learning & Language Specialists. Founder of SensoryLifestyle.com and BabyLog app.

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