Experimenting with Taste
This type of play works best with older babies who are able to eat solid foods, although you can certainly point out new tastes even when it comes to baby food. Describe the tastes of different foods to your baby, such as sweet, salty, and tangy and point out different textures such as crunchy, mushy, and the like. It is a great way to encourage baby to try new foods while also providing a rich sensory experience.
It was pointed out earlier in this chapter that singing to your baby is a great way to bond and provide a sensory experience, but that isn’t the only way to boost your baby’s sensory experiences with sound. Try playing different types of music for your baby to see what he or she enjoys most and to provide a well-rounded appreciation for music. You can also play games that involve sound by asking where a certain sound is coming from or even imitating sounds that you hear together as baby gets older.
Babies love to touch things, and tactile play can be a great form of play for babies of all ages. Even for newborns, providing an assortment of items with different feels, such as Velcro, wool, flannel, and other distinct textures can provide endless entertainment for your baby. Touch is one of the primary ways that your child explores the world, and as he or she gets older, touch will help improve brain development, coordination, motor skills, and more. Try narrating as your child experiments with different textures, pointing out when something is soft, wet, scratchy, smooth, etc.
Expose Your Baby to Various Scents
Your baby is born with a very keen sense of smell, so why not take advantage of this fact? Let your baby explore the world through smell the same way he or she explores the world through sight and touch. Let him or her smell the clean laundry, the cookies you just made, or your favorite perfume. Describe each scent as you do this to help boost vocabulary skills for older babies by saying things like “this smells sweet” or “the laundry smells clean”.
Sensory play can be a great way to help your new baby discover the world around them while helping to stimulate the brain at the same time!
Enjoying activities with your new baby is always a great way to bond, and it can be a great learning experience, too. Finding new things to do with your baby can help the two of you have fun together and can be great for your baby’s brain and mood. Taking the time to learn different age-appropriate activities is a great way to foster your baby’s development.