18 Baby Sensory Activities – Quick, Easy, Cheap, Fun!
You’re home with your baby and wondering how to best enjoy your time. Never fear! How about these baby sensory activities? They don’t require a lot of setup, and you’re both going to have fun!
- Mirror – Looking into a large mirror is an awesome activity with a baby. Dylan loved to play with the baby in the mirror! The motions and expressions would catch his eye and hold his interest. If you have a small wall mirror that comes off the wall, you can bring it down to baby’s level. Otherwise, set your baby up on the counter (keep a hold on your baby!) and play in the mirror together.
- Play in the Grass – Sometimes the easiest thing is to just set your baby down in a fun new environment. And so much of the world is new! When Dylan was a baby, I coudl set him down in the grass and he’d enjoy himself for the longest time. If I set Dylan down in the grass, he enjoys himself greatly with no further input from me for awhile. Watch out for choking hazards, but otherwise let your baby explore by feeling and tasting whatever’s available.
- Other ground textures – Remember, it’s all new! Snow, a sidewalk, dirt, a pile of leaves. There are so many ways to let baby have a sensory experience with the environment that’s all around us.
I’ve added some Amazon links to this in case you need to pick up some baby sensory activities supplies. They’re affiliate links so I get a little commission at no extra charge to you!
- Bubbles – I have never met a baby who didn’t like bubbles! And to be honest, I love blowing bubbles myself. It’s always a relaxing activity. Whether they like to try to catch the bubbles or just sit and watch, all babies love bubbles. Most of the time it’s a really soothing activity, making it perfect for the afternoon or early evening that is often marked by crankiness.
- Bath – When Dylan was a tiny baby he loved baths so much! I’d sit with him on my lap, and let the water fill up around us. He enjoyed the sound of the rushing water, and he settled into a very peaceful state when the water started to get higher. Then they get older and discover splashing, and then the real fun begins!
- Food – Has your baby started solid food at this point? Remember that until age one, food is just for fun. Help your baby try foods with different tastes and textures, and have fun exploring alongside. Does your baby likes sticky stuff or squishy stuff or leafy stuff? What about sweet things or sour things?
- Fabric Dancing – Gather up a bunch of different fabrics – scarves, socks, ribbon, etc – of different lengths, textures, and colors, and then lay your baby on a soft floor in an open area. Play music and move around tossing the fabrics in the air, brushing them past your baby’s skin, touching his face with the fabric, and letting him touch them. Try it with quick movements or moving super-slow.
- Flashlight – Sit your baby on your lap in a dark room and shine a flashlight slowly around the room so that your baby can follow the light around. Trace it along the walls, the ceiling, the floor. Flick it off and on slowly. Let your baby touch and play with the flashlight.
- Shakers – Find a small container that you can fill. Plastic Easter eggs work, or I use tiny plastic food storage containers. Fill them with a little bit of rice, beans, rocks, bells, buttons, or any other small items you can find so that they make interesting sounds when shaken. Make sure they are securely closed. Shake them with your baby. Play music or sing songs and shake to the beat. Shake them and dance! Try banging them on things, too.
- Textures Crawl – Arrange different textured large items on the floor together – use a bathmat, door mat, carpet, shower curtain, etc. Anything that has a different texture and takes up a bit of space. Then crawl around on the items and talk about the textures. “This one is smooth. Do you feel the bumps? Ooh, soft!” And so on.
- Playing in the Sink – I don’t know about you, but my kitchen is usually too messy to accommodate a baby up on the counter! But, on those rare days that there’s a clean sink, plop your baby up there for some fun. Dylan loved to pull on the hardware and feel the water on his toes. If you’re in the bathroom, the baby in the mirror is right there for extra fun, too!
- Sensory bags – Use a heavy duty Ziploc bag and start with a base of water or liquid soap. Add food coloring if you like. Then add interesting items to move around in the liquid, like small toys, glitter or confetti, or other small art supply objects. Foam shapes make a great addition! Seal the top with packing tape. This type of bag is easier to seal than the ones with the sliding lock.
- Box of Balls – Collect a box full of different sizes and textures of balls. Think little, big, medium, bouncy, squishy, knobbly, and lots of different colors. You can use a laundry basket or a box to collect them all and then situate your little one so they can slowly explore all the ball options. Balls are fun for kids of all ages, and it starts right now!
- Bowl of ice – A bowl of ice makes a great sensory toy. It makes an interesting noise at the cubes click together, they’re slippery to try to pick up, the temperature is a whole new sensation, and the consistency of the ice changes over time. And it’s practically free! Take this activity outside on a hot day for a fun way to cool down, or play in the bathtub if you’re worried about the mess.
- Potato flakes – There are so many fun sensory bin materials for toddlers, but you might be worried about what your baby will put in their mouth. Potato flakes are a great alternative for a completely baby safe sensory material. Pour them out in a bowl or bin and let your baby experience the fluffy, flakiness. Order some from Amazon or pick them up next time you go grocery shopping.
- Finger paint – You can get started with artistic fun with your baby, too. Simply add a little bit of food coloring to little bowls of potato flakes, and you have a baby safe finger paint. Use wax paper so that baby’s fingers can slide in the paint along the smooth surface.
- Box lights – Cardboard boxes are one of the greatest kid toys, and you can use one to make sensory environments for your baby, too. Find a box big enough for your baby to lay down inside it. Turn in on it’s side so that the opening is to the side and the top panel is smooth. Poke little holes all over the top and then push throught individual lights from a string of party lights. Lay your baby down inside the box for a fascinating glow show of light and color.
- Box lights – Use that same cardboard box to create a fabric dancing experience for your baby. Make the holes on top a little bigger and string through scarves or other long pieces of fabric so they will hang down at different lengths near your baby. Watch your little one wave their hands through the fabric, grab on, pull, and enjoy the movement of the scarves.
It’s so much fun to have new sensory experiences with your baby since everything is so new for them! What other baby sensory activities have you tried? What’s your favorite?
Want even MORE ideas? Here’s my list of 45 Things to Do With a 6 Month Old Baby!