Baby sensory is a rite of passage for little ones. Whilst there's plenty of classes offering sessions to engage the senses and boost the brain, there's also loads of sensory products you can buy to can carry on the fun at home. With babies playtime mostly taking place in our living rooms, we really appreciate toys that are great for their development, but also don’t give us a headache every time we glance at them. Here’s our pick of sensory toys you won’t be pushing under the sofa when friends come over.
FOR THE SENSE OF SIGHT
It's been proven that babies respond best to black and white, which is a reason why we are keen to stock a variety of high contrast modern muslins, blankets and soft books for little ones.
Setting up a high-contrast place for bubs to have a kick about on doesn’t need to be difficult. A captivating, multi-functional muzzy like this one from Done by Deer can be draped over a cosy baby nest for an instant sensory space. Babies love to coo at faces, particularly their own, so floor mirrors are fab for giving them an up close and personal experience during sensory sessions. This Done By Deer floor mirror with a subtle design is weighted, so it stands up without effort and the bold features and fuzzy back add extra intrigue during play time.
FOR THE SENSE OF TOUCH
Tactile learning is important for little hands as they get to grips with the world around them. At around three months, babies will start to grab for objects, so this is an ideal time to introduce touchy-feely toys. The sensory ball by Wee Gallery is one of our best sellers and is great for this stage. With a black and white design, contemporary patterns and a soft sculpted form, it’s perfect for some tactile play time. Once little ones have mastered grasping the word of toys opens up. This Sensory Rattle by Done By Deer has different textures and sounds to engage their senses. it's also just the right size for little mitts to confidently grip.
FOR THE SENSE OF HEARING
Babies will hear a variety of sounds even from inside the womb. From the loud thumping of their mother's heartbeat to the muffled chatter of voices, it’s not a quiet place to spend nine months. So it makes sense that babies needs continuous auditory stimulation as they transition in the world. Crinkle paper products are great cause-and-effect sound makers that can be introduced from day dot. This stylish design by Wee Gallery can be hung from the side of the Moses basket ready for small fingers to scrunch. The soft crinkling keeps little ones entertained while not being loud enough to annoy anyone else.
DEVELOPING FINE MOTOR SKILLS
In the first year, fine motor skills come into play as babies accomplish reaching, grasping, poking and putting objects in their mouths. If you’d rather your mini me wasn’t just pushing crumbs under the sofa, you are in luck because there’s some really great sensory toys to help harness these life-long skills. This little mat by Wee Gallery is ideal for tummy time and inspires bubs to get those motor skills going. Babies learn a lot about objects from putting them in their gob. While your old slippers are probably (read, definitely) not very kind on the palate, your baby will enjoy discovering the textures and tastes nonetheless, from some uninhibited mouthing. Thankfully there are toys, better than footwear, designed for all of this in-the-mouth action. These stainless steel toys by Yummikeys are not only perfect for some sensory-led mouthing, but the coldness of the metal is just right for soothing gums as well.
We love moving and shaking at KIDLY, so we are fans of stylish play mats that encourage little ones to practice their moves. This greyscale round mat by Sebra is designed for play and is an investment buy that can be used beyond the baby sensory era. We love that it can be broken up and stored away easily and is totally wipe clean for any up-chuck or drool fests as well. Etta Loves design products intended to stimulate babies senses, so this double-sided play mat is what babies need for being on the move. Whether it’s jerky head and neck lifts during tummy time or some epic 360 turns later on, the bold patterns really do their intended job. We love that it rolls up, so you can take sensory play time on the road with you as well.
Need more inspiration for your baby sensory at home? Shop our complete range of toys that fit the bill here.
Our IDEAS articles are based on our own experiences as parents & a need to find gorgeous, genuinely useful stuff for baby. That’s why you’ll always find our fave picks below our tips. Yes, we’re good to you ;)