Month 7: Top 10 Sensory Activities for your 7 month old

Josh’s 7 month story:

V (Gogh) once said, “I dream of painting and then I paint my dream.”. Today is the day! After a long drive we arrive at a secret location I cannot disclose. Mom ferries me to the back of the house where I spot the gang already engaged. But, then… it catches my eyes.. shinning among the crew. A BIIIGGGG tarp on the floor with paper and jugs of color. Its as though the curvature of spacetime is pulling me towards it.. not before long I’m yanked by another force, mommy force! The force is strong in this one.. Then like magic I’m pronto stripped down to bare essentials. Yikes! Ok ok, its fine.. because the jugs of color are finally in front of me.

There’s some mystery around these jugs of color.. V said, “What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?”.. So here goes. I stick my hand into the purple jug. It feels cold, slimy and sticky. When I remove my hand its still there! “Oh no!”, I try to take it off by rubbing it all over my leg. “Oh good, it’s coming off”. Once it’s off I have this urge to try it again and again. I think this is painting. I must confess it feels great! Now I know what Picasso meant when he said “Give me a museum and I’ll fill it.”… give me color and paper and I’ll fill it 🙂

Until next month…

Lots of smiles, Josh

What to expect from your 7 month old

By 7 months your baby is becoming more independent and moving about. Here are a few things that you may see your 7 month old do:

  • Moving about: Your baby has probably figured out a way to move around. They may creep, scoot, roll from place to place or crawl. They may also do a combination of all four.
  • You may also notice your baby rise up on hands and knees and rock back and forth.
  • Your baby can now sit unassisted.
  • While sitting they can reach and pick up toys.
  • Leg strength is increasing as they can hold themselves up while supported.
  • Communication: Your baby should be making a lot of different sounds from babbling, blowing bubbles or raspberries or constants such as ma ma, da da, etc.
  • You may also see lots of facial expressions from your little one.

Sensory Activities for a Healthy Sensory Lifestyle

During this month as your baby is trying to explore their environment, try to find plenty of opportunities to continue encouraging your baby’s mobility, creativity, and curiosity. Hopefully the below ideas will provide you with a good place to start.

1. Messy Play: Baby safe paint

Messy paint

Skills Developed Targeted Senses
Body awareness and hand eye coordination Tactile senses

How to play:

This is such a fun game to do with your little one. You can do this activity either outside or inside. Either way is best to put some kind of a splash mat under them to limit the mess. I also recommend keeping your baby in their diaper to let them explore the paint freely without you freaking out about their clothes getting dirty. This is completely up to you though.

Once the prep is done simply sit them on to the mat with the paint in front of them and let them explore. They may approach it head on and jump into exploring the paint or they may be slow to explore. Either is fine. If they are slow to explore just provide some encouragement by showing them it’s ok to play in the paint.

Edible Paint Recipe:

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of corn starch
  • 1 cup of cold water
  • 4 cups of boiling water
  • Food coloring

What to do

  1. Mix corn starch with the cold water.
  2. Slowly mix in the boiling water. Keep stirring until you reach custard like consistency. If the consistency doesn’t become custard like, add some more corn starch to thicken it up.
  3. Separate into individual containers and add food coloring.

2. Bubbles

Bubbles at 7 months

Skills Developed Targeted Senses
Visual tracking, hand eye coordination Visual and tactile senses

How to play:

This is a great way to stimulate your baby’s visual and tactile senses as well as encourage movement.

Simply blow the bubbles towards your baby. Your baby’s eyes will follow them as they float and fly in all directions. This is also a fun tactile experience that can get them laughing or surprise them as the bubbles pop on their arms, legs or even face. As they turn to look at the bubbles they may be encouraged to try to catch them and move towards them.

3. Driving with your baby

Skills Developed Targeted Senses
Body awareness and strength building of the core and neck muscles Visual, auditory and vestibular senses

How to Play:

Here is a fun interactive song for your baby. Sit your baby on your lap either facing you or away from you. Hold them at their hips as you sing the following song:

A Smooth Road To London Town

A smooth road to London town
A smooth road to London town
The road goes up and the road goes down
A smooth road to London town
But … by and by we come to a dell
There the roads are not so swell
A bumpy road, a bumpy road, a bumpy road to London town
A smooth road to London town
A smooth road to London town
The road goes up and the road goes down
A smooth road to London town
But… by and by we come to a wood
And there the roads are not so good
A rough road, a rough road, a rough road to London town.

Make sure when you sing:

  • Smooth road: you slowly sway your baby side to side
  • Bumpy road: you bounce them gently on your lap
  • Rough road: bounce them a little harder. Ensure you watch for your baby’s comfort level and don’t bounce them too hard. You can also gently guide them to fall off your lap and land on the floor.

If you haven’t heard this song before here is a link to a you tube video of the song by the Pasadena Public Library https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRX6reh4BnU

4. Beach ball fun

Balance ball

Skills Developed Targeted Senses
Body awareness and strength (upper body and core) Vestibular and proprioceptive senses

How to play:

All you need is a large enough ball so your baby can lay on top of it without being able to touch the ground. I like the smaller sized beach balls.

There are lots of things you can do with this ball. The usual things include your baby grasping it and then throwing or letting it go. You can also let your baby roll on top of the ball. To complete this, place your baby’s tummy on the top of the ball while supporting them at their hips. Then slowly move them forward until their hands touch the floor. This is great to build some upper body strength as they put pressure through the joints in their hands, elbows and shoulders. They will also be strengthening their core muscles as they keep their heads up while rolling on the ball.

5. Fishing

Skills Developed Targeted Senses
Hand eye coordination, grasping & reaching skills Tactile and proprioceptive (inside the mouth) senses

How to play:

This is a fun game of fishing out objects that can be explored through the use of their hands and mouth. To get started, place a few inches of water into a container. It’s usually better to use containers that are wider rather then taller. This will make sure that your baby is able to easily reach into it. Then place some chewy toys in it. Most popular objects to put in are a variety of chewy rings.

Have fun as your baby splashes through the water and fishes out the rings that they can then explore with their hands and mouth.

6. Gym session

Plank

Skills Developed Targeted Senses
Upper body strength Proprioceptive sense

How to play:

As your little ones start to transition from tummy time it might be time to start them on baby pushups. You heard me right. Baby push ups! This will strengthen that upper body to help with crawling. How to get your baby to do a push up? Well, while your baby is on their tummy, move their favorite toy above their head or kneel in front of them and make funny sounds. You want to try to get them to look up and lift up their chest off their floor. Your baby may even impress you by doing a plank.

7. Crawling games

Crawling tunnel

Skills Developed Targeted Senses
Moving around (Scooting, creeping or crawling) Tactile and proprioceptive senses

How to play:

After your baby has completed their gym session it’s time to get them moving around. Get down on all fours and get moving with your baby. To encourage your baby’s movement you can try to get them moving towards their favorite toys, get them moving towards you or through tunnels.

Let them explore their environment as their try to move from one place to the next.

8. Tactile play through textures

Texture fun

Tactile games are so much fun and very beneficial for sensory processing.

They help build a foundation for many developmental milestones such as fine and gross motor skills. They also support visual perceptual  (interpretation of what we are seeing) and visual motor skills (hand eye coordination) development.

How to play:

During this activity I encourage you to let your baby explore different textures through the use their whole body.

Best way is to lay down a variety of different textured fabrics or toys around them and let them explore. It can also encourage extra mobility to get hold of different textures or objects.

9. Nursery Rhymes sing- a- long

Skills Developed Targeted Senses
Visual tracking and language skills Auditory and visual senses

How to play:

Singing nursery rhymes has many benefits. The most important benefit that has been reported by many experts is language development. The rhythm of the songs and the rhymes helps to prepare your baby’s brain for language and communication.

“Song is a special type of speech. Lullabies, songs and rhymes of every culture carry the ‘signature’ melodies and inflections of a mother tongue, preparing a child’s ear, voice and brain for language.” Blythe, The Genius of Natural Childhood. (link)

So pick up some of your favorite nursery rhymes and get singing to your baby. You can choose from some of the favorites such as: Itsy-bitsy spider, I’m a little tea pot, Humpty dumpty, The wheels on the bus etc.

If you are having a hard time coming up with ideas just do a google search and you’ll get endless options.

10. Explore the outdoors

Outside play

You will notice that I am a huge advocate of outside play and exploration. It is a great way to enrich your baby’s experiences and give them opportunities to use ALL of their senses.

As your little one has become more mobile their exploration also differs. So make sure you give them the opportunity to move around on the grass or play around in the sand.

Let them touch and play with flowers, leaves, grass or sand. Just remember to supervise closely so they don’t stick anything unsafe in their mouth.

Summary:

So there you have it. My top 10 Sensory Activities for your 7 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.

❮ 6 month activities < 8 month activities ❯
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Occupational Therapist Registered & Licensed, Associated Learning & Language Specialists. Founder of SensoryLifestyle.com and BabyLog app.

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