Month 11: Australian Edition- Top 10 Sensory activities for your 11 month old

Month 11: Australian Edition- Top 10 Sensory activities for your 11 month old

Josh’s Story
I was so excited to fly to Australia that I didn’t even think about the adventures that were awaiting me.

One beautiful morning we all ventured out to a park. My uncles got busy starting a barbie for lunch. I decided this was the perfect time to explore. I wanted to see the nearby playground and the surrounding fields. I got my cousin and my dad and off we went to explore.

As soon as we started to explore we noticed lots of different bugs on the ground. I was so excited to see them in action. Then, as I lifted up my head I saw the most amazing creature. It was bigger then me and was crawling on four legs. It had a long tail and a slithering, long tongue that kept coming out of its mouth.

I was so exited, as I have never seen this creature before. ‘Look, a goanna!’ said dad. I started to move closer for a better inspection but my dad quickly swooped me up. Unfortunately my inspection concluded from afar. It slithered and moved slowly through the green grass and the tall trees. I wonder where it’s going?

I can’t wait to see what other unusual creatures I will see on my Australian adventure.

Lots of smiles,
Josh

Australia trip 11 months

What to expect from your 11 month old

The first birthday is almost here! Wow! I’m sure you have noticed how much things have changed in the last 11 months. Here are some highlights of what you may notice your 11 month old do.

Gross Motor Skills

You are probably seeing more and more movement from your little one. At this age, your baby should be cruising around while holding onto the furniture or your hands. You may start seeing them let go and stand for a few seconds. Some of you may even start seeing a few steps from your little one. They may even be walking independently.

Some may be a little more adventurous. They might find things to climb onto as they explore their surroundings. As long as they are safe you don’t need to make it too easy for them.

Fine Motor skills

Fine motor skills continue to improve. Their little hands have been working hard. They have been practicing grasping, releasing and manipulating objects around them.

You may notice them starting to pull things apart and put them back together.

Their hand eye coordination skills are improving.

They should be able to use their pincer grasp to grab small items.

Communication skills

You may start noticing temper tantrums as they try to express their needs. For example getting upset when their toy has been taken away.

They may also engage in a back-and-forth conversation. When you ask a question, you’ll get a response, although you probably won’t understand most of that response. They will also be able to point to familiar things such as a family pet, car or a ball as you name them.

Sensory Activities

Here are some activity ideas that you can try with your 11 month old. These activities will expose your baby to many stimulating environments and movement opportunities. They will also develop their sensory systems while fostering creativity. As always they have been tried and tested.

1. Messy Play: Potato flakes

potato flakes

Skills Developed  Targeted Senses
Fine motor skills, hand eye coordination and motor planning Tactile, visual and proprioceptive senses

How to Play

Looking for another texture to play with? Luckily the supermarket shelves are full of fun ingredients that are safe for little ones to play with.

This month I thought we could try potato flakes. Here are some ideas on how we can play with them.

Start off playing with them as a dry mixture. You can add cups, spoons or other sand toys to fill, pour and mix the flakes.
Next you can add some water into it. The little ones can mix it with spoons or hands.
Once combined, the flakes mixture can be used to mold things. Build balls, towers, squish them into their cups or other containers. They can poke them or move them between containers.
You can hide small cars or blocks in it. Then they can dig through with their hands and find the hidden treasures.
For extra visual fun you can add some food coloring to change the colors around.

2. Exploring ice

ice play @11 months

Skills Developed Targeted Senses
Fine motor and hand eye coordination skills Tactile and visual senses

How to Play

Best played in the warm months of the year. To start, make colored ice cubes by adding a few drops of food coloring to water. Then pour the water into an ice cube tray and freeze.

Best locations to play with the ice are either outside or in the bathtub. If playing outside place the ice on the floor or in a container filled with clear water.

Your little one can explore the cold temperature by either handling the ice with their hands or splashing it around the container. If using the container they will be getting a nice surprise as they watch the water change color as the ice melts.

3. Back and forth

Skills Developed Targeted Senses
Hand eye coordination, turn taking, trunk rotation (helps with balance, core strength and crossing midline) Tactile and proprioceptive senses

 How to Play

Are you ready to play with a ball? Here is a fun way to start building your little one’s ball skills.

Have them sit on the floor with their legs straight out in front of them. Spread them apart so they can catch a ball that is rolled towards them.

First sit next to them and help them roll the ball forward. Then sit in front of them and roll the ball back. Keep going back and forth and help them out as much as is needed. Once they start getting the concept of turn taking and rolling the ball you can advance to the next step.

Try rolling the ball so it ends up on their side. To get the ball they will need to rotate their trunk, which strengthens many muscles. Then switch things around and roll the ball to the opposite side.

While rolling you can also sing, and use a variety of textured or differently sized balls.

4. Crawling search and rescue

Crawling with treasure

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

How to Play

Crawling continues to be a very important activity for your little one. Anything that encourages them to get on their fours and crawl will make them stronger.

This month’s crawling activity will encourage some problem solving. To start, set up a tunnel. This tunnel can either be store bought such as those found on amazon. Or you can create one using furniture and bed sheets.

Once the tunnel is ready, place either a balloon or a ball inside of it. Encourage your little one to crawl through the tunnel and push the ball out through to the other side. Initially, they might stop and play with the ball inside the tunnel. That’s fine. Let them explore and enjoy the play. Don’t rush them. Offer help if needed. Once they get the idea you can place other toys inside and have them retrieve it.

5. Stand & play

Skills Developed Targeted Senses
Core and leg strengthening, balance, hand eye coordination and motor panning skills Tactile, vestibular and proprioceptive senses

How to Play

So here it is. To get walking you need to first know how to stand. Before you know how to stand you need to strengthen lots of muscles. To do that you need to have the opportunity for lots of floor play and crawling. In the last few months including this one I have been giving you lots of crawling ideas.

This game is about standing. To help your baby learn to stand you need to provide lots of opportunities to do so.

One way, is by giving them the opportunity to stand while holding on to a piece of furniture. Preferably, one with no sharp edges, such as a sofa. While sitting close to them present your baby with one of their favorite toys. The key is to hold it close to the hand that they are using to support themselves with. Hopefully they will let go and grab the toy. They may reach and then hold on to the sofa again. That is fine. They will continue to hold on to the sofa until their balance skills develop.

Keep encouraging them to let go. As they grow stronger they will be able to stand independently for longer periods of time.

6. Messy play: Fill & dump sensory play

Fill and dump game

Skills Developed Targeted Senses
Hand skills, hand eye coordination, object permanence Tactile, visual and proprioceptive skills

Your babies are becoming little scientists. They are continually exploring and experimenting. By having the opportunity to fill and dump contents from a container they learn many valuable skills. They start to learn concepts like gravity, object permanence, volume and measurement. Your baby will continue dumping, filling and observing all the way to toddlerhood.

How to Play

For this game you can use any grains that you want or have available. I used quinoa as this was the expired ingredient in my kitchen. If playing outside you may consider using birdseeds. Once it gets messy you will have tiny little visitors who will clean it all up for you.

This activity encourages and provides an opportunity to practice the ‘Fill & Dump’ skill. Dumping is much easier, so this is the task to start with. You can fill the containers with the grains and let them dump it out. You can use various sized containers for this experimentation.

Once this is mastered it’s time to practice filling the containers. Note that this step requires much more precision. It can take months to master.

7. Bubbles and movement

Skills Developed Targeted Senses
Standing, crawling, balance, hand eye coordination, motor panning skills and visual tracking Visual, tactile, vestibular and proprioceptive senses

How to Play

It’s time to have some fun with the bubbles. This is a great way to stimulate your baby’s visual skills as well as encourage movement.

Simply blow the bubbles towards your baby. Your baby’s eyes will follow them as they float in all directions.

Then, encourage your baby to catch the bubbles. If sitting they may end up crawling to go after the bubbles.

See if you can also get them standing while holding on to the furniture and catch the bubbles. Hopefully they will let go of the couch and catch some bubbles.

Who knows, maybe you can even get a few steps from your baby as they try to catch them.

8. Puppet show

Skills Developed Targeted Senses
Visual tracking and language skills Visual and auditory senses

 How to Play

Puppets are so much fun. Even at this age your baby can have lots of fun watching a puppet show. It is also a great activity to help develop your baby’s visual and language skills.

As you move the puppets, your baby’s eyes will follow them. Let your puppets move in various directions (high, low and to both sides). Just make sure not to move them too fast.

Some of the puppets can move in to your baby for a kiss and a cuddle.

You can also use a funny voice to grab their attention and make them laugh!

9. Movement to the songs

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

How to Play

Place your baby on your lap. Then have fun singing and moving your baby to the lyrics of some of the popular nursery rhymes. Always make sure that you don’t do any fast and jerky movements. Frequently check in with your baby so they don’t get over stimulated.

Fun songs that can be sang on your lap include:
Row row row your boat
I’m a little teapot
Humpty Dumpty
The Grand old Duke of York
Hickory Dickory Dock
Pop goes the weasel

Some of the movements can include:
Bouncing up and down
Lifting them up and down
Going back and forward
Moving side to side

10. Playground exploration

Playground exploration

Skills Developed Targeted Senses
Balance, motor planning (ability to conceptualize, plan and carry out an unfamiliar task), body awareness, bilateral coordination, hand and shoulder strength, core strength, trunk control and visual skills ALL senses

How to Play

Even if your baby is unable to walk or climb they can still have lots of fun on the playground. There is so much to explore. It targets all the senses and of course builds a variety of essential skills.

Some of the fun things your baby can do on a playground included:

Explore the sand pit
Crawl on the different structures
Crawl under the structures
Crawl up the playground steps
Pull themselves up onto ladders
Pull themselves onto variety of playground features. These can include steering wheels, musical instruments or other moving parts

Just remember… Have fun!

Summary:

So there you have it. My top 10 Sensory Activities for your 11 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.

 

❮ 10 month activities < 12 month activities ❯
Month 9: Top 10 Sensory Activities for your 9 month old

Month 9: Top 10 Sensory Activities for your 9 month old

Josh’s 9 Month Story

Zoooommmmm…. Did you see me?…. Zoooommmmm… Faster than mommy express.. Faster than a speeding daddy bullet.. they call me.. J-Flash!

Today’s challenge for J-Flash is to find the hidden snake in these giant mountains that stand before me. Climbing these mountains is a small feat for a superhero like me. For I will crawl up… and then down.. and up and down and along the way manage to check out all the caves for the angry bear 😉

I will keep on zooming until I find him. Time waits for no man. Until next month.

Lots of smiles,
JFlash aka Josh

 

Spending quality time with your baby is one of the most important things you can do. Quality time bundled with creative activities will help stimulate your child’s development.

The fictional story (above) introduced us to Josh’s homemade activities. The cushions acted as mountains and tents turned into caves. Be creative!

Try  this month’s activities to help your baby explore and learn as they play.

What to expect from your 9 month old baby

  • Motor Development:
    – Your baby loves moving around. Provide them with lots of opportunities to crawl, stand or cruise the furniture.
    – Changing positions is becoming easier: for example from tummy to back or to sitting.
    – Your baby may be pulling up to stand while holding on to the furniture.
    – Whenever possible allow your baby to walk/cruise barefoot. This allows better development of the muscles and tendons in their feet.
    – Your little one is now sitting unsupported.
    – Your baby is exploring objects around them through the use of their hands and mouth.
    – Their hand coordination improves as they are able to easier manipulate their toys.
    – They may be able to use their pincer grasp (use of thumbs and fingers) to pick up small objects and toys.
  • Communication Development:
    – You may hear lots of babbling from your baby. You may be lucky to hear ‘mama or dada’
    – Your little one’s understanding skills are also improving. As you ask ‘Where is Mama?’ they may be able to point to you or crawl over to you.
    – They may also start to use gestures to communicate their needs e.g. reach hands up to be picked up.
  • Social Development:
    –  You may also notice some separation anxiety at this age.

Sensory Activities for a Healthy Lifestyle

1. Crawling on various surfaces

Crawling uphills

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 you can try to push them further to continue strengthening their body through crawling.
The last few months I have included a variety of crawling activities that contained chasing things/people or exploring different textures. This month I encourage you to develop simple crawling obstacle courses. Just like in this month’s story.

These can include:

  • Crawling on unsteady surfaces such as trampolines, air mattresses or pillows.
  • Creating mounds or “hills” from pillows and blankets. Then have them crawl around on them. Going up and down.
  • You can play hide and seek, chase them around on all fours or have them follow their favorite or a random toy/object while crawling on top of the “hills”.

2. Messy play: Fun with Jell-O

Jello play

Skills Developed Targeted Senses
Fine motor skills, body awareness and hand eye coordination Tactile sense

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 it is best to put some kind of a splash mat under them to limit the mess. If warm enough I would recommend keeping your baby in their diaper to let them explore the texture freely without 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 Jell-O in front of them and let them explore. You can place it directly on the mat or a tray. They may approach it head on and jump into exploring the texture 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 it.
You can also add straws and different sized containers that they can use to poke through the Jell-O. They may even find it fun to crawl around in it.

3. Lets shake it all around

Shaker

Skills Developed Targeted Senses
Grasping, object manipulation and hand eye coordination Auditory, visual and proprioceptive senses

How to Play

Equipment needed: Tupperware containers (various sizes), plastic bottles, items to be placed inside containers (these can include: dry pasta, rice, beans, water beads, hard candy, bells or small toys).

Encourage your baby to explore different sounds and improve their manipulation skills by shaking a variety of home made rattles/shakers.
Simply choose a container and place objects inside (ideas provided above) that make sound when shaken. To avoid any choking hazards ensure that containers are securely taped or glued.

Once completed let your baby explore and play music.

4. Grab and drop

Skills Developed Targeted Senses
Gasping, hand eye coordination, crossing midline, weight shift and balance Tactile, visual, vestibular and proprioceptive senses

How to Play

In month 8 of this activity series I spoke about a tracking and reaching activity. This month I want to move it to the next level.

Have your baby seated on the floor. Place a large container in front of them as well as toys on both right and left sides.
1. Have your baby pick up objects from either side and then drop them into a container.
2. Encourage your baby to reach across their bodies to pick up an object on the opposite side. This is called crossing the midline (the invisible line in the middle of their body). Then have them drop the toy into the container.
3. Once all the toys are collected they can dump them all out and repeat.
4. Simultaneously you can encourage object exploration as you repeat the game with toys, balls, kitchen instruments, blocks etc.

5. Messy play: Flour play

Skills Developed Targeted Senses
Fine motor skills and hand eye coordination Tactile sense

How to Play

This is just as simple as it sounds. Place some flour on a tray or on the floor and have your little one explore this texture.

You can also add some cars or animal toys that they can ride or walk through.

6. Humpty Dumpty

Skills Developed Targeted Senses
Balance, strengthening of shoulder and arm Vestibular, tactile and proprioceptive senses

How to Play

The objective of this game is to help develop your baby’s balancing skills while in a seated position.
To start off, sit behind your baby and hold them by their hips. Then move their weight to one side. As you pull them off balance you want your baby to place their hand on that side for support. If they are unable to position their hand provide them with some guidance.
Repeat this with the opposite side as well as forward and back.

To make this game more fun you can add the ‘Humpty Dumpty’ nursery rhyme to it.
‘Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall’

As you say the words ‘fall’ move them off balance as described above.

7. Ziplock painting on a flat surface

Ziplock painting

Skills Developed Targeted Senses
Hand skills and hand eye coordination Visual and tactile senses

How to Play

Equipment needed: large zip lock bag, variety of paint colors and masking tape

1. Open up the zip lock bag and place a few drops of different colored paints inside.
2. Close the bag and secure it with masking tape. To avoid any paint spillage place the masking tape on both top and the bottom edges.
3. You can place the bag either on the floor or on a tray of a high chair.
4. Let your little one explore. They can squish and move the paint around mixing the colors.

8. Reach for the sky

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, balance, grasping, hand eye coordination and motor planning (ability to conceptualize, plan and carry out an unfamiliar task) Visual, proprioceptive, tactile and vestibular

How to Play

The main objective of this activity is for your baby to reach for hanging toys with one of their hands while on their hands and knees. This position will encourage your baby to shift their weight onto one hand while reaching with the other.

1. Find toys that can be attached to a string. These can include bells, shakers, rattles etc.
2. Then attach them to objects that they can crawl under. These can include dining tables, work desks, tree branches or large boxes that your little one can crawl into.
3. Then let your baby loose to try to crawl to and reach for each toy. Make sure that each toy is high enough so your little one needs to stretch to get it.

9. Get grabbing!

Skills Developed Targeted Senses
Fine motor skills Tactile and proprioceptive senses

How to Play

As your baby continues to develop their gasping skills make sure you provide them with opportunities to grasp and manipulate a variety of different objects. Variety can be in size, shape and weight. This will strengthen both their tactile and proprioceptive sensory systems. As well as teach them how to problem solve their grasping skills.

At this age your baby is starting to learn how to use their thumb and pointer finger to grasp smaller objects. The safest way to practice this grasp is by providing your little one different types of finger foods such as peas, diced cooked carrots, small pieces of cheese etc

You can also provide smaller sized toys but make sure you ALWAYS SUPERVISE to avoid choking.

10. Squigz grab & pull

Squigz baby play

Skills Developed Targeted Senses
Gasping, wrist extension and hand strength Tactile and proprioceptive senses

How to Play

If you haven’t heard of Squigz then you could potentially be missing out on many fun memories. I use these frequently with toddlers and older kids but babies can get some fun in as well. Squigz is a suction toy that can be attached to various surfaces or to each other. I recommend the large size for our babies to eliminate a choking hazard. For more information check out the Squigz details.
With our young babies we can use them to develop their hand strength.
Simply stick them to a small table or a high chair tray. Then watch them grasp and try to pull them off. You can also have them seated near a window and have them try to pull them off.

Remember that our 9 month old still loves to explore objects with their mouth. This means that these Squigz will quickly end up in their mouths, so you should always supervise your baby to avoid choking.

Occupational Therapy Tip:
Working on a vertical surface, such as a window in this case, strengthens muscles in your baby’s shoulders and wrist. These are important for many fine motor skills such as writing and cutting.

Summary:

So there you have it. My top 10 Sensory Activities for your 9 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.

❮ 8 month activities < 10 month activities ❯
Month 6: Top 10 Sensory Activities for your 6 month old

Month 6: Top 10 Sensory Activities for your 6 month old

Josh’s 6 month story:

Baby rockers in the house tonight, every baby just have a good time… every day I’m shufflin.. *cue the music* shufflin.. shufflin.. trying to get up.. trying to get up… everyday I’m shuffling… Oh yeah, I’m grooving today! Yeah baby. Touché. I think all that tummy time has really paid off. I can use my hands to creep around the room and explore all the new places I couldn’t before. It is loads of fun! I no longer need mom or dad to carry me to a new place. Yippee. However there is that one problem. Even though I aim to move forward I somehow end up moving sideways and backwards. I then magically end up under tables, beds and dressers. My legs are shuffling! No worries, with a bit more practice I will be plunging forward like a cheetah.

Until next month … Lots of smiles, Josh

crawling backwards

What to expect from your 6 month old:

By the 6th month your baby will be going through more transitions. Here are a few things that you may see your 6 month old do:

Sitting: Your baby may be starting to sit up alone. At first they may be using their hands to prop themselves up. Overtime they will start sitting unsupported.

Rolling: Your baby is probably rolling from their back to their stomach and vice versa.

Moving about: You may notice that your little one is able to move from one side of the mat to the other by simply rolling over and over.   They may also started to creep forward or backward.

Hand development: Your baby will reach for toys and grasp them. They will also bring their hands together and may start separating their fingers. You may also notice your little one watching their hands as they move them around.

– You probably have stared your baby on solid foods.

Communication: Your baby is now smiling, laughing, and babbling (“ma-ma,” “ba-ba”). Ensure you read to your baby daily to further help with their language development.

Note: This is not a complete list of Baby’s development.  For further information follow up with your pediatrician.

Sensory activities for a Healthy Sensory Lifestyle

Your baby is growing up fast and they are ready to play more and more. Through play your baby gets to experience different sensations, which help your baby’s development both mentally and physically.

Here are my top 10 sensory activities for the 6th month old baby. These activities have been tried and tested.

1. Come and get me

 

As your little one gains more movement they will try to move from one location to the next. They might be still pretty rusty at it. To encourage more movement place motivating toys just out of reach so they have to start moving towards it.

2. Peek a boo

peek a boo

Skills Developed Targeted Senses
Object permanence

(Object permanence is the 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. )

Visual senses

How to play:

Peekaboo is such a fun game for the baby. The smiles and the giggles keep on coming. They love the surprise of seeing that hidden face pop back up in front of them but also appreciate the predictability of what is going to happen. It is a great game that focuses on an important cognitive development that demonstrates your baby’s ability to understand object permanence.

So get playing with your baby! Simply hide your face from your baby and then pop back into their view. Remember to say ‘Peekaboo!’ as you do that. Then, you can cover their face with the scarf asking ‘Where is the baby?”. Then uncover their face saying ‘Here you are!

3. Magic trick

Magic trick

Skills Developed Targeted Senses
Fine motor skills, hand eye coordination, bilateral integration. Visual and tactile senses.

How to play:

Equipment needed: Colorful scarfs or scraps of material and a container/toy with large holes. As a container you can use a shape sorter or a OBall, empty paper towel roll or a empty wet wipe container.

To play simply put the scarfs into the container with edges coming out. Then let your toddler try to pull them out. Once they are all out you can help them out and put them in again. Then let the fun continue as they pull it out again and again.

4. Copy cat

Skills Developed Targeted Senses
Socialization, attention span, imitation skills. Visual and proprioceptive senses.

How to play:

This game can be played in numerous positions. They can lie on their tummy, on their back or sitting while they are facing you. The whole family can also be involved. Just make sure it is one at a time.

As you and your baby are facing each other do different facial expressions or sounds and see if your baby will imitate you. You can try smiling, blowing raspberries or sticking out your tongue. You can also make simple sounds like ma-ma, da-da, e-e etc.

Have fun with it and also tell them what you are doing to increase their language skills. Remember to also praise them when they do it successfully. ‘Yay, you just stuck your tongue out like your brother’…

5. Water play

water play

Skills Developed Targeted Senses
Body awareness Tactile senses

How to play:

As we are talking about water play please make sure an adult always supervises your baby. If it’s summer, outside is a perfect place to play. If however these are the cooler months playing in a bathtub is just as fun.

If you are using a baby pool or a bathtub only fill it up with few inches of water. Depending how well your baby is sitting up you may want to hold them up or just get in the water with them.

Then, let your baby splash around. You will get lots of smiles as they kick around with their legs or splash around with their hands. You can also include few balls or water/bath toys that they can try and get with their legs or hands. Watching them bounce in your home made waves is also fun.

6. Drumming Band

Drumming

Skills Developed Targeted Senses
Fine motor skills (grasping), hand eye coordination and bilateral coordination (use of two hands) Auditory, tactile and visual senses.

How to play:

Dum.. ditty… dum… dum …drum…. Let’s get drumming!

A perfect drum can be made from a simple kitchen plastic bowl or an empty container. All you have to do is turn it upside down, grab some wooden spoons and viola!!

Let your toddler explore the sounds and get more control of their hands as they start banging around on the drums.

7. Discovery basket

Discovery basket 2

 

Skills Developed Targeted Senses
Fine motor skills and hand eye coordination. Tactile, proprioceptive, visual and olfactory senses.

How to play:

With this activity you can let your imagination run wild. The main purpose of a discovery basket is for your baby to explore a variety of objects. Through this exploration they stimulate many of their senses and practice their reaching and grasping skills. While they are grasping and manipulating the objects they figure out how to hold & manipulate different objects and how much force to use so it doesn’t fall out of their hands.

As they explore the treasures make sure you talk about all the objects. What is it? What color is it? Is it heavy/light? Smooth/rough/bumpy? What do you do with it? Does it have a scent? What shape is it? Does it make a sound?

Ideas for baskets:

  • Focus on color: maybe use only orange items or brown…
  • Focus on items found in the kitchen such as: a ladle, whisk, spatula, potato masher, a bowl etc
  • Focus on different fruit and veggies: Bananas, oranges, avocados …
  • You can also just gather random objects from around the house

Whatever basket you create make sure you choose objects appropriate and safe for your baby’s age and skill level.

Once you are ready. Sit with your baby and explore the objects together.

8. Food play

Food play at 6 months

I know that the thought of having a baby play with food freaks out many parents. They will get it all over themselves and there will be lots of clean up afterwards. Yes it’s messy but it is actually really good for them. Getting messy is part of the process of learning to eat.

As they play and explore they learn about all the properties of the food. They learn about the texture, the smell, if it makes any sounds when it’s squished. If it does end up in their mouth they learn about how it tastes. As they explore their foods through all their senses they are more likely to accept that food.

So put the foods on their tray and let them explore and learn about it before they put it in their mouth.

9. Light show

Light show

Skills Developed Targeted Senses
Visual perception, visual tracking, learning about light, dark & shadows Visual senses

How to Play:

Explore visual senses through glowing lights in the dark. You can play this game in any position. Your baby can be lying down on their tummy or their back. They can also be sitting up.

What to use?

Any of the following will be fine: fibre optic lambs, fibre optic wands or LED ropes.

What to do with it?

  • You can move the light source slowly so your baby gets to follow with their eyes. Move it to the right, left, up, down, across.
  • LED ropes are safe to handle by your baby so they can play around with it.

They will enjoy watching the variety of lights.

10. Encourage independence

You may notice your infant playing independently. Watch for those moments as short as they may be. Give them some space and allow them to play on they own. Playing by themself will slowly increase their attention span and their independence. This means that little by little they will play on their own for longer periods of time.

Summary:

So there you have it.  My top 10 Sensory Activities for your 6 month old that you can do today to help your child’s 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 this month’s activities, just try them again in a few weeks.

For feedback or further questions please leave a comment below.

~ 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.

❮ 5 month activities 7 month activities ❯
Month 20: Top 10 Sensory Activities for your 20 month old toddler

Month 20: Top 10 Sensory Activities for your 20 month old toddler

As my pal Gordie always says “If you want to become a great chef, you have to work with great chefs.” And that’s exactly what I did.

I’ve been stalking mom cooking in the kitchen for some time now. It first started when I got my climbing ladder. Peeking into the pots as she stirred, boiled and created mouth watering magic. Then, as I got taller I could sneak a peek closer and with more precision. I bet she thought i was just babbling and bouncing around but in fact I was learning. Calculating… 2 cups of water… 1 egg… yep I got it.. this is easier than I thought it might be.

One day, we ventured outside our little castle near the woods. I knew this was time to unleash my inner Chef! There were so many options. I grabbed some stick, stones, leaves, dirt…. lots of dirt! I poured some water into my bucket and then one by one I started adding my ingredients. I had so much fun throwing them in and then mixing it all around. I decided I needed more water. I leaned my head back and at the top of my voice shouted “More water”. Mom poured some in but it was not enough. I looked up and voiced again “More!!! More water!”.. then mom gave me that look. Whoops. Gordie always says that “cooking is about passion”.

See you all next month.
Lots of smiles, Josh

 

Tactile games are so much fun and very beneficial for sensory processing.  They also help build a foundation for many developmental milestones including both fine and gross motor skills.

Below I have included my top 10 sensory activities for your 20-month toddler. Among them are also many activities focusing on tactile play.

As always, these activities have been tried and tested. Enjoy!

Sensory Play Activities

1. Nature stew

Nature stew

Skills Developed Targeted Senses
Fine motor skills, bilateral coordination and hand eye coordination. Visual and tactile senses.

How to Play

On your next nature adventure remember to bring a bucket and a few full bottles of water. After some exploring you can stop and start your cooking lesson. To make the ‘Nature stew’, get your toddler to pour some water into the bucket. Then start collecting surrounding objects such as rocks, sticks, sand, leaves, flowers, grass, acorns. Really, anything that is around will ‘cook’ just fine. Get your toddler to throw in his ‘ingredients’ and stir them around with a spoon (bigger stick). This cooking adventure can keep your toddler entertained for quite a while.

They will see the clear water become muggy from all the sand/dirt. Enjoy all the sounds of the sticks, rocks hitting the sides of the bucket as they stir it around. You can start teaching them about weight by observing heavier objects sink down to the bottom and lighter objects such as grass float at the top.

Enjoy experimenting with your toddler!

2. Floral fun

Flower smashing

Skills Developed Targeted Senses
Fine motor skills, hand eye coordination, bilateral coordination and visual perception skills. Tactile, proprioceptive and visual senses.

How to Play

If you have some flowers at home don’t throw them away as soon as they start to dry out. There are a number of ways that your toddler can play with dry flowers.

  1. Place them onto a mat and have your toddler explore them through the use of their hands or feet. They can squish, stomp or pull them apart.
  2. Stick contact paper (sticky side up) onto a wall. Have your toddler then stick petals or small flower branches onto it to make their creation.
  3. Sort them by color or type.
  4. Once they finish with the contact paper you can roll it up into a batten form (sticky on the outside). Then have your toddler pound the dry flowers to see what will stick to it.
  5. Lastly you can place the flowers into some water and have your toddler explore that way.

3. Potato Stamping

potato stamping

Skills Developed Targeted Senses
Visual perception and hand eye coordination skills. Tactile and visual senses.

How to play

This is such a fun activity. Cut potatoes in half. Then carve out few shapes. See examples above.

Then let your toddler run wild stamping away.

4. Flying obstacle course

Skills Developed Targeted Senses
Balance, motor planning (ability to conceptualize, plan and carry out an unfamiliar task), body awareness, bilateral coordination, hand and shoulder strength, core strength, trunk control and visual skills. Proprioception, vestibular, tactile and visual senses.

How to Play

Today’s obstacle course consists of a flying theme. Before you get started make some paper planes for this adventure. When setting up an obstacle course, try to match its complexity to your child’s skill level. Make sure there is some challenge to improve their skills while keeping it fun.

All you need is some pillows, cushions, blankets, tables, chairs and boxes. You and your toddler can start by pretending you are airplanes by spreading your arms out to the side. Help your toddler if they are having trouble imitating you. Start by flying around on the floor and then fly higher and lower by going up and down the furniture. If you fly up small boxes you can start encouraging your toddler to jump down. Then you can fly on bumpy clouds (pillows spread on the floor). Finally fly up really high (on top of the couch or table). You can park your plane there and take out some pre made paper planes. Your toddler can have lots of fun throwing them down and watching them fly.

5. Playing with balls

Balls, balls and more balls! Every toddler loves playing with balls. Throwing, kicking, rolling, inside or outside… everything goes.

Skills Developed Targeted Senses
Hand eye coordination, foot eye coordination, balance, visual perception skills, bilateral skills, timing, sequencing, motor planning, and attention. Visual, vestibular, tactile and proprioceptive senses.

How to Play

You can try any of these activities:

  1. Simple throwing back and forth with your toddler. Note: Medium size balls of softer density are easier to catch.
  2. Kicking back and forth with your toddler.
  3. While sitting on the floor encourage rolling back and forth.
  4. Target throwing/kicking: Target can include an empty laundry basket, a box, a suitcase, a basketball hoop etc. Depending on your child’s skill they can stand quite close to the target and as their accuracy improves you can start stepping them back. Once your child has good accuracy try raising the target slightly off the floor and see if they can throw it in.

6. Finger paint

Skills Developed Targeted Senses
Fine motor skills, hand eye coordination and visual perception skills. Tactile and visual senses.

How to Play

It’s time to wake up all those tactile sensors and have some fun with the paint. You can use any finger paint that you want. I did however include a homemade finger paint recipe below.

I don’t think this activity needs much explanation. Let your toddler explore the colors by drawing on paper or themselves (if it’s nice and warm). If the mess freaks you out just let them go wild with the paint while in the bath or shower. Easy clean up of the environment and them.

Finger Paint Recipe

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons of sugar
  • ¾ cup of cornflour
  • 2 cups of water
  • Food coloring

What to do

  1. Mix the dry ingredients (sugar & cornflour)
  2. Split the dry ingredients depending on the amount of colors
  3. In another bowl mix water with the food coloring (split the amount depending on the number of colors. For example if using 4 colors use ½ cup of water for each color)
  4. Combine the two and enjoy!

7. Cup hide and seek

cup and toy

Skills Developed Targeted Senses
Object permanence (Object permanence is the 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. ) Visual senses

How to Play

Equipment needed: 2 or 3 plastic cups and a favorite toy that will fit inside the cup.

This is a simple game that includes hiding a toy under a cup.

Start by using one cup then increase it to two and then three.

Let your toddler see you hide the toy under the cup. Then ask ‘Where is the toy?’ By this age they should have no problems lifting up the cup to uncover the toy. Then repeat with two cups and then three. If you notice that your toddler is really good at this game try making it more challenging. With the use of two cups hide the toy but then move the cups around. Just like you see in those magic tricks on TV but with fewer cups and MUCH slower speed.

8. Sorting game

sorting lids

Skills Developed Targeted Senses
Visual perception, hand eye coordination and bilateral coordination. Visual senses

How to Play

Find a box, any box. It can be from your last delivery, a cereal box or a shoe box. Then gather together a variety of lids or flat objects (circular shapes are easiest). You should find a few lids of different sizes.

I used a variety of lids from jars and plastic containers. Once you have all your equipment cut out holes that match each of your objects (see picture above).

Then have your toddler try to match each object to the cut out hole.

9. Shaving cream car wash

Shaving cream & cars

Skills Developed Targeted Senses
Hand eye coordination, bilateral skills and motor planning (ability to conceptualize, plan and carry out an unfamiliar task). Tactile and visual senses.

How to Play

In this game your toddler needs to get their cars dirty and then take them to a car wash.

To make the cars dirty:

  • Put some shaving cream or bubble soap onto a table.
  • Have your toddler explore the shaving cream with their cars. WARNING: They may have so much fun that the shaving cream ends up being splattered around.

To make the cars clean:

  • Have a small container of water ready so they can try and wash them in it.

They may want to repeat this cycle numerous times.

10. Play dough & pasta

pasta and play dough

Skills Developed Targeted Senses
Fine motor development including: hand strengthening, pincer grasp, finger isolation as well as hand eye coordination and bilateral coordination. Tactile and proprioception senses.

How to Play

Equipment needed: Play dough and pasta (different shapes and sizes)

You can start this activity by seeing what they will do with the pasta. After a while you can also throw in some ideas for variety.

Let me get you started with the following ideas. You can use the pasta to:

  • Poke play dough with it.
  • Make imprints. The more variety of pasta the more variety of imprits.
  • You can hide smaller pasta in it. The first few times you may need to hide the pasta for them.
  • Once pasta is hidden in play dough your toddler can start digging through it and pull it out.
  • Poking is also fun. Start with them using their pointer finger to make holes in the play dough. Then they can put some pasta in it. Pretending they are making cookies or pizza.

My favorite no–cook Play Dough Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 cups plain flour
  • ½ cup salt
  • 2 tablespoons of cream of tartar
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ cups of boing water
  • Food coloring

What to do

  1. Mix flour, salt, cream of tartar and oil in a large mixing bowl
  2. In another bowl add water and mix it with food coloring
  3. Add both mixtures together
  4. Stir until combined (it still might be sticky)
  5. Allow it to rest
  6. Take it out of the bowl and knead it until the stickiness is gone
  7. If after a few minutes of kneading it’s still sticky then keep adding small amounts of flour. Keep adding until you have reached perfect play dough consistency.

Summary

There you have it. My top 10 Sensory Activities for your 20 month old toddler. These are bound to spark up other ideas. Let me know what activities you have tried in the comments section below.

Remember: Each toddler develops at their own pace. If your child is not ready or not interested in this month’s 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.

❮ 19 month activities 21 month activities ❯