This week I have been in need of some distraction techniques! J is crawling and climbing all over the place, and I can’t turn my back for a second. He is desperate to grab all the things out of reach, and his toys have not always been enough to tempt him away… While scrolling through The Imagination Tree’s website, I came across these sensory mats, and thought they looked like something J would enjoy. They are a great tool for babies aged 6 months +
Using simple wooden coasters as a base, I glued a number of different materials to each one. I tried to choose materials that had interesting colours, textures, and sounds.
Green fluffy pipe cleaner:
Pink wrapping bow:
Multicoloured fluffy pom-poms:
White velcro circles:
Multicoloured glitter stars:
Green glittery ribbon:
Activities using sensory mats:
- Give them to your baby one-at-a-time to explore. They will probably want to put them in their mouth, so make sure everything is stuck down tight! Rub their hands on them individually, and show them the different noises that can be made by each material.
- Give your baby severals mats at a time now. Show them how to bang them together to make some great banging sounds!
- Dot the mats around the room, all slightly out of reach for your baby. Adapt this according to their development. If they are learning to crawl, place them just outside of their reach. If they are learning to stand, place them just above their head, on the sofa or coffee table. Encourage them to reach that little bit further to get their hands on them!
- Show your baby a sensory mat, and then hide it behind a cushion. Ask them to find it, and help them to realise where it is. This works best with some of the noisier materials to begin with, so that you can keep scrunching the material while it is hidden.
- Some of these mats will feel very tickly on their skin. Sing some of their favourite nursery rhymes, using the mats as a tickling tool! Good examples are: This Little Piggy Went to Market, Round and Round the Garden, and Incy Wincy Spider.