My little boy is at the age now where he’d be able to attend BABY ARTventurers classes; they are the art classes for babies in Teddington aged from 6 months to 16/18 months that we are running from September, all being well.
With no classes to go to in lockdown, I decided to run a few sensory activities from our BABY ARTventurers classes (pre-Covid) at home. The benefits of sensory play for babies is manifold and you can read more about it in this great article HERE. I thought of sharing these activities with you in case you’re looking to add some creative and sensory play into your little one’s day!
Some of these activities were quite messy so I’d suggest waiting for a sunny day to do them outside. If you don’t have a tray then you can always use the bath or an empty paddling pool outside works equally as well!
This is one of my favourite activities to do and works really well with both toddlers and babies. It’s really quick to make – you just need some uncooked rice, vinegar and some food colouring. I use a tablespoon of white wine vinegar for each two cups of rice. Put the rice in a ziplock bag and add the food colouring (I use gel food colouring), then add the vinegar and mix it all together in the bag so it’s coloured. Spread it out on some foil or backing parchment to dry (it doesn’t take long on a hot day).
Playing with rice is a fantastic way for babies to develop their fine motor skills; they will have a lot of fun trying to pick up the grains. It’s also really calming for them. For toddlers, if you add some tools into the mix they can have fun scooping and pouring. They will also love putting the rice in different containers, we used some different sized boxes which went down a hit! The rice will keep if you put in in an air tight container, so you can bring it out again for another day of fun.
This one is slightly more messy but babies love it! My toddler also had loads of fun with it and even wanted to take the ‘worms’ to bed with her that night! Just cook the spaghetti as normal, drain the water and then place the spaghetti in a ziplock bag with some food colouring and a little water. Mix it all around so the spaghetti absorbs the colour and then rinse under the tap in a colander so the dye doesn’t stain as much (there will still be a little transfer so I suggest putting the baby in something which doesn’t matter if it gets a little stained). The Rainbow Spaghetti is then ready to play with!
Spaghetti play is a great sensory activity for babies, who will love the slippery feel of it on their hands and feet. Try hiding toys in the spaghetti for them to discover. For toddlers you can add utensils like tongs so they can practice picking it up. You could even add some child friendly scissors so they can practice cutting if they are at the age where you think they are ready for scissor practice!
CLOUD DOUGH is a brilliant sensory play activity for babies and toddlers alike. It’s basically a sand texture made of flour and oil. It can be compressed and moulded and will provide hours of entertainment. It is pretty messy so it might be advisable to get some towels underneath the tray you’re using and don’t be wearing your best party dress for this one!
There are various variations of Cloud Dough out there but I use 8 cups of flour for 1 cup of vegetable oil and mix it all up so it provides a nice crumbly texture that will mould in your hand if you squeeze it but fall apart easily if you break it up. You can make it brown and pretend it’s soil or mud by substituting the flour for hot chocolate powder. Make sure you have some tools they can shape the sand with if they are a little older such as buckets and cookie cutters. My toddler loved making sandcastles with this one!
The Artventurers team are currently working on adapting our art classes so we can resume our classes safely with the social distancing measures currently in place. So for now these activities are best done at home and I hope you have fun if you try them! We are still going to be able to have heaps of creative fun in our art classes for babies in Teddington when they start. Don’t forget to sign up to the WAITING LIST so you can be the first to be able to book our classes! Click HERE to get on it!
Can’t wait to see you and your little one in class soon! xx Sidonie