Sensory and dexterity are part of babies’ and children learning and developing their motor skills in order to sit, stand and grow. The more your baby can do with their hands, the more they can play and explore. Different toys and objects require different grasps and manipulations, and by building dexterity it can open many doors for your baby, which also means more paths for learning. Sensory play can be so beneficial for dexterity as play is often with their hands, feeling textures and learning with different toys.
Sensory Play Ideas with @homewithharlow
"Hi, I'm Tee and I am Mum to Harlow who is 6 months old. We live in Melbourne with Harlow's Dad and our two cats Hazel and Meeko. I'm an early childcare educator and have just returned to work after maternity leave. I have been sharing our simple play ideas on my instagram @homewithharlow for the past 6 months and have enjoyed connecting with many fellow mums".
A taste-safe Arctic world sensory tray
This activity can be enjoyed by babies right through to older children. I’ve used shredded coconut as the base, which does not pose a choking hazard so it’s perfectly safe for your little ones to sneak a taste!
- Dried shredded coconut
- Penguin figurines
This set up took me about 5 minutes. It’s so simple! I used both shades of blue from two packs of rainbow stackers to create the igloos. One is larger than the other. Then I added one packet of shredded coconut and our penguin figurines we had borrowed from our local toy library.
Fan-Sea Sand & Rice Sensory Tray
Here’s a simple sensory tray you can do at home to ignite the curiosity and imagination of your little one! 🐋
- Blue sensory rice
- Kinetic sand
- Sea animal figurines
I’ve used a tub in our Flisat table from IKEA to set up this experience, but you can use any tub/tray/bowl. Using the silicone rainbow stacker as a divider for the sand and sea, I then added kinetic sand and blue sensory rice. - To make the sensory rice, you just add a dash of vinegar and food dye to a zip lock bag of plain rice, then leave to dry for a couple of hours or pop in the oven on low heat for 15 minutes. This rice can be stored in an air tight container for months!
Add some ocean animal figurines (ours are from Wild Republic) & some shells, and there you go! Sit back and watch as your little one explores the different textures while building on their creative and imaginative skills!
How do I help my child with dexterity?
There are quite a few different activities and materials that can help children improve their dexterity including play-dough and putty, painting, playing with sponges, rice races, water play, gardening and planting, and many more!
How does Sensory development help my child?
Sensory play supports language development, cognitive growth, fine and gross motor skills, problem solving skills, and social interaction.