Tops Tips: Foodie Sensory play for your baby
Food is such a big part of life! We measure our day by it, we socialise through it and we can learn through it.
Therefore, it’s so important to develop baby’s love of food from the early stages of life! And what better way to do that than getting them involved in the kitchen!
Using food as a tool for sensory play isn’t a new concept but it is one that becoming increasingly popular! Our friends at Mini Magoos have shared their ideas to give you a helping hand on where to start!
1. My baby isn’t weaned yet!
Lots of parents have this view in mind when introducing their baby to food play! I certainly did before I weaned my own child, and was terrified to let her have anything near her mouth! But don’t worry, as fans of Baby-Led Weaning will testify it takes them a while to get the hang of things. Nothing much gets swallowed or eaten for a long time! There won’t be any danger of accidentally weaning, so don’t miss out on these wonderful experiences for baby.
2. Its gets MESSY!
Food play gets messy! There is absolutely no doubt about that! But don’t let that stop you. There are lots of large plastic mats you can buy to protect your home, or failing that even a cheap shower curtain will do! Pop these down and away you go. The more relaxed you are the better, so taking a few precautions before you start will help this.
3. Natural is the way to go!
Food play doesn’t take a lot of preparation! You don’t have to cut things up to let baby explore things. Natural textures and shapes are interesting enough to baby at this stage, it also helps them to be recognisable when building vocabulary later. Some of the things I love to use are: Pineapples, dried pasta, rice, oats, cucumbers, carrots…. The more knobbly the better! And due to them all being edible you don’t have to worry if they have a big suck or chew! Its what its there for!
4. Why will my baby benefit?
Giving baby lots of different things to explore stimulates and develops many of their different senses. They exercise those vision muscles, eyeing up their new challenge. It stimulates their sense of smell, this is something no plastic toy can ever do! It also helps to develop their fine motor skills. Manipulating how to handle these things is a huge work out for baby and one that they will relish!
5. Involve them in the kitchen.
Finding the time to cook when you have a baby is a nightmare! So, why don’t you get baby used to having lots of fun in the kitchen, to make these jobs a whole lot easier? Bring out the pots and pans, give them a wooden spoon to make a band! Give them some empty plastic cups and have a tea party. Its endless what you can do in there to make this room one of the best in the house.