Babies are born prepared to experience their world around them. Our babies can hear their mothers’ hearts beating, their fathers’ voices, or the music on the radio. After being born, they mouth, chew, and nibble on objects as there are more nerve-ending in their mouth than any other place on their body. Toddlers learn about their foods by mashing, pouring, or squishing it through their fingers, which support their understanding of texture. They intensely look at highly contrasting colours in a painting or book. By using their senses, our little ones are familiarizing themselves with their world and comforting themselves. All of this comes naturally to them!
Our children’s brains develop because of these sensory experiences. Therefore, we want to support them by providing them with opportunities to activity use their senses. Below are a number of ways you can encourage your baby's/toddler's sensory development.
Play Eclectic Music
I like to think we listen to an eclectic range of music in our home. But, I was recently surprised when Eleanor went nuts rocking out to “Cut Me Some Slack,” performed by Paul McCartney and Nirvana at the 12-12-12 Hurricane Sandy benefit. Now, we’ve started listening to more alternative music.
Bake/Cook with your Baby
Since I’m at home with Eleanor all day, I spend a lot of my time cooking with her. We turn many meals into an experience where I allow her to feel, smell and taste the ingredients.