During your baby’s first two years they will experience more brain growth and sensory development than in any other time of their life. You can support this special phase by exposing them to lots of different things that stimulate their senses. Here’s a simple activity you can do with your baby with interesting things from your own kitchen.
Did you know that most kitchen drawers are full of interesting, learning objects for babies?
When your baby is alert and relaxed, sit them in their highchair or on the floor and let them play with various kitchen utensils, like colanders, spatulas, wooden spoons and egg-whisks. Look for things that shine, clang, or have an interesting texture – anything that would be fun for little fingers (and mouths) to explore!
Importantly, make sure the utensils you let them play with are safe for babies – only give them things that are blunt, unbreakable and not able to be swallowed. And never leave your baby unattended when playing with anything from the kitchen.
Let your baby touch and explore each kitchen utensil and as they do, describe the different properties of the objects to your little one. For example, you might talk about the coolness and shininess of a metal spatula. Or, perhaps you could help them run their fingers over the bristles on a pastry brush and say “The brush feels nice and soft”. Even letting your little one bang a pot with a wooden spoon allows them to become aware of sounds and the feel of the wooden handle.
This activity is wonderful for encouraging your baby to:
- use their senses to discover, explore, investigate and examine new objects, textures and sounds
- developing thinking skills, like cause and effect: ‘When I bang this pot, it makes a noise!’
- promoting open-ended and independent play
developing communication and language skills