I went to my first sensory session with Bubba when he was about 3 months old. It was held at our regular children's center where we go to a play group and to be honest, I wasn't holding very high hopes of Bubba enjoying it. To be fair, the first session we did, he went in, looked at some lights, had a bottle then promptly fell asleep on a giant soft lady bird!!! The next session was a month later and that was totally different!
Bubba was into everything! He loved the tube lights, the big trays of spaghetti that he could play with, the different textured fabrics and the shiny tin foil and surfaces. It dawned on me during this
session why people spoke so highly of baby sensory. I could really see how it was working Bubba's senses and engaging him in a way that was so different from normal play.
We have visited a few different sensory places since unearthing Bubba's love and there have been a few parts of it that have really shown me the benefits of baby sensory!
- At the sensory room sessions at the Mega Center in Rayleigh they have the most amazing interactive play mat. It is like a projector that puts all different types of things onto a mat on the floor. The one which Bubba loves the most is a pond with fish swimming around it and when you touch the fishes they swim away really quickly. He loves trying to catch the fish and I love watching him as he fine tunes his hand-eye coordination.
- Also at the Mega Center they have some fantastic textured balls which Bubba loves to roll and catch. I can really see how this is helping his motor skills as he is becoming so good at catching the ball when you roll it to him. It makes him giggle every time as well which makes it even better!!
- There is another fantastic place near me in Leigh called 'Discover with baby'. This is a purpose built sensory boutique and we love it!! They have so many sensory toys and a dark room with lots of lights and a bubble tube and if you live near the area then I would highly recommend paying them a visit! They have some brilliant musical instruments and Bubba especially loves things that rattle or make noise as he shakes them.
- At Discover with Baby they also have some brilliant busy boards. Bubba loves little things that he can touch and fiddle with so a board like this is perfect for him as it has laces, zips, buttons and all sorts. It amazing watching him develop and go from aimlessly bashing these boards to being able to pull and hold the small little bits so well.
- One of my favorite 'activities' that Bubba used at the Childrens Center sensory session was so simple yet so educational and interesting for Bubba to play with. It was all to do with smell and the tray that the little ones could sit by and play with had in it a lemon, orange and lime (all with the skins slightly pierced as to let to scent out) and it also had little tubs with tiny holes on the top which contained star anise, vanilla pods and some other herb that smelt and I can't remember what it was called! Bubba loved this as not only did he use the pots as a rattle (not the intended use I know) but I could really see him smelling them and trying to process that the smell was coming from inside the pot. So simple, yet so brilliant!
So, we are now sensory converts and as I am going back to work tomorrow (SOB!!!) I know that I won't be able to take Bubs to this kind of thing as often but I will be making sure that we still try to squeeze in at least 1 session a month as I can really see the benefits to him.
Do you have any experiences of baby sensory? Any thoughts on the different things to stimulate the different senses? Let me know :)