I am constantly on Pinterest searching for interesting sensory experiences suitable for infants. I do this not only for my 6 month old (Stella) but also as a way to find ideas for the Baby Nido class at my school. One idea I really loved was edible paint consisting of only two ingredients: yogurt and food coloring. I decided to prepare some on this beautiful gloomy morning for my daughter, Stella.
I mixed half a cup of organic plain yogurt with three drops of food coloring in a small bowl. I did this three times to create three colors for Stella to explore. Then, I placed a blanket outside with Stella’s Boppy underneath to help support her in sitting position and I placed Stella on the blanket. Stella gets so excited when she is exposed to something new that she hardly contains herself. She immediately pushed her body towards the blue shade of yogurt paint and picked it up .
She put the bowl of blue paint down and thought for a moment.
She reached for the yellow paint, pushing the blue paint out of the way.
She picked up the yellow bowl of paint and mouthed the side…her first taste of the yogurt.
I think she liked it…
Then, she noticed the puddle of yogurt paint that had gathered by her feet. She rubbed it with her hand for a moment before she decided to explore the purple paint.
She brought the bowl of purple paint to her mouth. In doing so, the purple paint dripped all over her foot. She noticed the purple paint on her foot and began to rub it with her hands.
Then, she positioned herself so that she could see the paint on the blanket.
She sat for a minute, touching the paint on the blanket.
Then, she sat up and wondered what to do next.
She stacked the bowls of paint on top of one another and then began to show an interest in the leaves that had fallen near the blanket.
This experience lasted about 15 minutes which is a great length of time for an infant. Stella was engaged throughout the entire experience. She was quiet, concentrated, and content. Not once did she complain or seem to want the experience to end. When babies first interact with the world, they don’t have words to describe what they encounter, but they do absorb information through their senses. This is why sensory experiences are great for infants. A few benefits of sensory experiences are that they can be therapeutic, they can improve motor skills, they can raise awareness of how the world works, and they can contribute to language acquisition, all while being a lot of fun!