***This post was scheduled for early this morning but technical difficulties caused it not to post!***
Right now I’m on the redeye home from dōTERRA’s convention, super excited to share the latest research in the essential oil field with you in upcoming posts! My friend Natasha is guest posting today. I love Natasha’s insight into natural play and learning on her blog, Playful by Design. Natasha is a self proclaimed child development nerd, and has an entrepreneuar’s mind with an educator’s heart. Today she’s sharing some simple yet effective ideas for creative play for babies under one.
Use Contrasting Colors or Textures
To me, creative play with young babies, under a year, is all about creating a sensory experience for them. High-interest sensory experiences speak to multiple senses at the same time.
Babies are drawn to black and white patterns, and anything with a high contrast. Buying or making sensory contrast cards is an awesome way to honor this stage in their visual development.
Hint: A great way to take this visual sensory activity and make it multi-sensory is by adding some texture to the patterns. By adding tape, gluing sand or putting puffy paint on top of these contrast cards, you are adding one more element for them to process and learn from.
DIY Sensory Bottles
Another one of my favorite sensory experiences for young ones is to create small sensory bottles for them to play with. I simply bought travel bottles from Target that are meant to have shampoos in them. I put elements of nature in the bottles. One bottle may be cinnamon sticks that rattle when the baby shakes it. Beans and rice are both great additions to sensory bottles. You can also put rosemary or another herb in them for an auditory and olfactory nerves.
Hint: Make sure to get the bottles with the slanted pop lid on them for this activity. I tend to crank this sensory experience up a notch by adding a couple drops of essential oil into the bottles.
Outdoor Creative Play
Above all else, I believe that young children, and all humans really, need to spend time outside. Simply going for a walk, laying on a blanket or exploring in the grass is a creative sensory experience for your baby. Don’t be afraid to simply do “nothing” with your baby. These short periods of “nothing” are some of the most engaging time for your baby. They feel a slight breeze, they hear a bird chirp, they see a butterfly pass by, they smell the rosemary bush nearby. All of these experiences helps their mapping and understanding of the world.
By honoring your baby’s senses at a very young age, you are giving them the gift of creativity as they grow up.