The sensory box

1 - 3 years
Child playing with box

Babies begin to experience and understand the world through sight, touch, taste, smell, and hearing. Once your child is able to grab and hold things, they will love to explore a ‘sensory box’. This simple activity will help your child learn about the feel of different textures, support colour recognition and assist with hand/eye coordination.

To make your own sensory box, collect lots of interesting household objects and things from nature with different textures, such as bits of fabric, pine cones, leaves, kitchen sponges, hair rollers and feathers. (Make sure the objects are large enough not to be swallowed and free from sharp edges or anything that might be harmful when touched or mouthed by your child).

Once you have around six differently textured objects, place them in a container such as an empty tissue box or ice cream container.

Give the box to your child and watch them express surprise and delight as they pull out and examine the bits of different coloured and textured objects. As they explore an object from the box, describe it to them.
What did you find? A pine cone! Look, it is brown and spiky.

To keep your child's interest, limit the number of objects in the sensory box, and change them every now and then. Some items may not interest your child one week but may be fascinating when introduced at a later time.

As your child gets older, encourage them to close their eyes as they pick out an object, and guess what it might be.

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Last modified
18 April 2020