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Baby Sensory Shapes Activity

This activity is created with young babies in mind. It has the multiple benefits of being easy to create and linking to many areas of the EYFS Development Matters. Just a few items are needed to make this activity which helps to build on sensory awareness, physical development and understanding.

Follow our simple step-by-step guide to have a go at this activity today:

What you will need:

  • Cardboard
  • Scissors
  • A variety of materials with different textures - e.g. felt, cotton wool, lolly sticks, Velcro, fabric, sponge, leaves, stones, etc.
  • Glue
Photographer: Danny De los Reyes | Source: Unsplash

Preparing the activity:

  1. Cut out small circles or squares of cardboard; these will be the bases. Larger ones can also be made for children to lay on, if preferred.
  2. Cut out the variety of materials, ensuring they will fit on the cardboard shapes.
  3. Stick the materials on to the cardboard using a strong glue - a glue gun is ideal if available.
  4. Wait for the glue to fully dry before giving to the children; at least 24 hours.

Doing the activity:

Lay the variety of textured cardboard shapes on the floor and allow the babies to interact with them. Give guidance by showing them how to use their hands to touch the items and vocalise the different textures. Of course, very young children will not verbally respond but hearing new words (such as soft, rough, hard, tickly, smooth, etc.) is important for their development.

Photographer: Danijel Durkovic | Source: Unsplash

The materials can also be used under foot so, if the children are able to stand, let them walk or stand on them. If they are too young to stand, softly stroking the materials on the bottom of their feet is recommended. Another suggestion is to gently move appropriate materials (anything that will feel nice!) across children’s arms and legs.

Constant communication with babies is the best way to help them learn, so maintain verbal interaction and sing, sing, sing! With any activity for young babies, close supervision is crucial to ensure they do not put unsuitable items in their mouths.

Tracking the activity:

0-11 months

Personal, Social and Emotional Development: Making relationships- Responds to what carer is paying attention to, e.g. following their gaze

Personal, Social and Emotional Development: Self-confidence and self-awareness- Laughs and gurgles, e.g. shows pleasure at being tickled and other physical interactions

Communication and Language: Listening and attention- Looks intently at a person talking, but stops responding if speaker turns away

Physical Development: Moving and Handling- Makes movements with arms and legs which gradually become more controlled

8-20 months

Personal, Social and Emotional Development: Making relationships- Interacts with others and explores new situations when supported by familiar person

Communication and Language: Listening and attention- Concentrates intently on an object or activity of own choosing for short periods

Physical Development: Moving and Handling- When sitting, can lean forward to pick up small toys

Expressive arts and design: Exploring and using media and materials- Explores and experiments with a range of media through sensory exploration, and using whole body