It appears babies spend their time eating, sleeping and crying, but the first few months of life are actually spent growing and developing at a remarkable rate. Before she can communicate with people, an infant is interacting with her environment through smell, taste, touch, sound and sight. Homemade sensory toys can help stimulate baby's development. They are easy to create crafts and can be made with items you may already have around the house.
Use an old, soft sock as a toy to stimulate baby's hearing, touch or even smell. Stuff the toe with tissue paper, newspaper or something else that will make noise. If desired, add a few drops of lavender oil, cinnamon or another scent. Tie a secure knot using the upper part of the sock or sew it shut. Make sure baby cannot get the knot undone.
Fill a plastic baby bottle or small jar about 1/2 to 3/4 full with water. Add glitter, small rocks or beads, confetti, small balls of foil, or small plastic letters, animals or objects. Secure the lid tightly with glue, making sure baby cannot open it.
Wrap a small box or cube with solid-colored paper. Gather pictures of family and friends. Enlarge faces and cut out so baby can begin to recognize and discern individuals. Glue or tape one face on each side of the cube. Wrap the entire cube with clear adhesive to protect the photos. If desired, cut out pictures from magazines of animals, nature or objects. Create more than one cube, each with its own theme, such as animals, transportation or places.
Make a cuddle toy for baby with two squares of fleece and extra bits of ribbon. Cut two pieces of fleece or other soft material into squares in any size desired. Choose ribbons in various colors, patterns, sizes and textures. Sew the ribbons between the two squares, around the perimeter. Baby can gaze at the stimulating patterns, touch the different textures and snuggle with the soft fleece.
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