All parents want their baby to explore and experience new sensations, but let’s be honest: babies can act a bit like cats sometimes – you spend large amounts of money on a fancy toy that includes all sorts of bells and whistles only to find your child (or cat) is much more interested in the cardboard box and packaging it arrived in! We have gathered DIY sensory play tools that you can make yourself for very little cost using inexpensive materials that you probably already have in your home, so if baby does get bored you can just recycle the toys you’ve made.
We love this activity because everything stays sealed in the bag so there is no mess and no danger of baby swallowing anything.
- Fill a large, heavy duty, re-sealable bag with hair gel, glitter and small brightly coloured objects such as toys, buttons and foam shapes.
- Seal the bag and then reinforce the edges of the bag with duct tape to ensure it cannot be opened.
- Let baby squish and squash to their hearts content.
This is a great activity for hot days, your child will get wet so have fluffy towels and a change of clothes on hand for when playtime is over.
- Cut clean cellulose type sponges into different shapes like hearts, circles and diamonds.
- Set out a shallow tray of water with the sponges floating in them.
- Baby will love the feeling of picking up and squeezing the absorbent sponges.
Some tips for sponge fun
- Use different colours of sponges for added stimuli.
- Use sponges that do not have a scrubbing surface or remove this material before giving to baby.
- As always, keep a very close on eye on baby as they play with water and make sure they are supervised at all times.
Painting with Flowers
Exposing your baby to nature from a young age is important and with this activity you can create a beautiful keepsake as well. If you don’t have easy access to flowers we suggest ordering a bouquet from Bloom Magic, let the adults of the house enjoy it for a few days and then turn it into a sensory activity for your wee one. The sensations of paint and petals will be a new one for baby and will also allow them to experiment with pressure and motor skills.
Not all plants are safe for baby so be sure to research non-toxic plants before starting this activity.
- Look for large leaves and blooms that hold together well.
- Trim stems to about 2 inches long so baby can easily hold them.
- Gently coat the petal side of the flower and one side of leaves in kid-safe paint.
- Allow baby to press the flowers and leaves onto paper to make beautiful prints.
Similar to the sensory bags, this activity is completely mess free and sealed up for safety.
- Collect an assortment of tubes and containers, clean them out well. Pringles cans and yoghurt pots work extremely well for this activity.
- Fill a clean Pringle’s tubes 1/4 full with rice, replace the lid and seal with duct tape
- Fill one clean yoghurt pot 1/2 full with dried beans, place an identical yoghurt pot on top of the bean filled one and tape the two together securely with duct tape.
- Let baby shake, rattle and roll!
Some tips for making music
- Different sized containers with differs amounts and types of filling will make unique noises.
- Cover the outside of your container with patterned contact paper or wrap with coloured twine to make them more decorative.
With any DIY toys, be sure to regularly check items for wear and tear and always supervise your baby when they are playing.