Sensory play. Two buzz words that you hear a lot when your bundle of joy comes earth side & you start on the baby class circuit. I have to admit I had no idea what it really meant when Eli was born but apparently it’s about helping your little ones explore their senses using well-designed products.
Since the choice of baby classes in our new neighbourhood is very, very limited we’re doing it all at home. So here’s my list (tried and tested by my son!) of stuff to get your little one’s senses going from birth onwards.
It’s all black & white
Babies don’t perceive colour very well, so black & white stimuli are ideal from birth. Eli loved a black & white baby book and graphic muslin from day one, as he learnt to focus on simple shapes. He still gets his book out at 11 months old & coo’s at the shape of a cat – that’s my boy! WEE gallery pride themselves on creating beautiful designs to stimulate kids’ senses. I love the focus on black & white graphics in their soft books, ideal for brand new bubbas as they fine tune their sense of sight.
Time to reflect
I don’t think Eli had ever really seen a mirror until our first family road trip at 6 weeks old, when we installed one of those backseat car mirrors so you can keep an eye on your bundle. He was intrigued by the shiny, reflective thing suspended in front of him. Baby friendly mirrors are great for playtime too & you get such a sense of pride as you see your tiny human interact with their own reflection!
Really bringing it home
So, as I’ve said, there’s not a whole lot of baby sensory classes going on here, but that doesn’t mean Eli misses out on the songs that you’d hear if you’d go to one. East Coast Nursery have partnered with Baby Sensory, which has 25 years experience in this type of play, to create the ‘Say Hello’ range. Some of these cool pieces of sensory kit also include the songs...all together now!
Light up their lives
We were a bit late to the game with a ceiling projector with Eli receiving one as a Christmas gift. I’ve since learnt many use them as sleep aids (who knew! It could be just what your baby needs!) But when they aren’t being used for lulling a tired babe off to sleep, they are ideal for creating a magical, star-filled space which little rugrats just adore.
Eli is finally at a stage where he enjoys independent play rather than routing through his toy box while glued to my knee. The first things he will always pull out are toys which feel funny or make a noise – & he will happily create a cute little tune or rub his arm with a soft bristle brush and giggle away.
Sing it to me
Eli has music in his soul, with grandparents who were opera singers & a daddy who has performed on the West End. From the day he was born, we’ve exposed him to music. We love our play gym, which provides heaps of stimuli, with bright colours & soothing tunes to engage his sense of hearing.
Keep parenting like heroes!
Of course, Eli has some faves, check them out below.