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Sensory Activites for babies under 1 year old

Sensory Activities for 6-12 Months

Sensory activities have so many benefits for our babies. Now only are babies exploring their 5 senses, but they are also learning to explore and exercising their creativity! According to the Urban Child Institute, your baby’s brain with double in size in the first two years! With so much growth happening, it’s important to help facilitate as many beneficial activities as possible!

So with that, here are a few of the top sensory activities we have done with our daughter, Nora.

Before you leave, be sure to also check out:

Rainbow Spaghetti: An edible sensory activity

Baby Finger Paint: 2 ingredient edible paint!

Box and String Lights

We recently moved and have SO many left over moving boxes! We have used a few for Emmy… we simply put her in a large box with a few markers and she spends hours just coloring away! So we wanted to find something fun to do with Nora and the boxes. So we poked a few holes in the top and added some string lights! Easy, cheap and totally a HIT! If you don’t have a short set of string lights at home, you can find a HUGE selection here with a ton of colors and bulb types. 

If baby is too young to sit up on their own, you could easily put some safe padding down in the box and lay them so they are able to see the lights. A Boppy lounger would come in handy for this activity! Be sure to keep an eye on them while they are inside!

Sensory Activities for 6 to 12 month babies

Sensory Baskets

It can be common for babies to not be too fond of tummy time. Nora was definitely one of these babies! We had to work hard to keep things interesting for her which is where our sensory baskets came in. We would take a small basket and fill it with all sorts of colorful and interesting objects. Some days it was as simple as shiny and light up objects (metal measuring spoon set, a small handheld mirror, a large bouncy ball with lights in it). You really just have to pinpoint what captivates your baby and catches their eye and find different objects that fall into that.

No matter what objects you add to their basket, be sure there are always supervised while playing with them.

Sensory basket ideas for babies

Jello Dig

While this activity took the #1 spot by a mile, I have to share that I made a BIG mistake with this one!

The Jello dig was as simple to make as it looks… 3 packets of sugar-free Jello and throw in some toys. The #MomFail though, the red Jello stained Nora’s hands! We bathed her right after the activity (obviously) and then again that night and luckily by the next morning it had faded. I would suggest going with yellow or the Jello naturals brand, which doesn’t contain food dye.

Jello Dig- a fun sensory activity for babies

If you baby loves this activity, you have to try to rainbow spaghetti! Our 11 month old LOVED it!


Edible Baby Sand

It was a tough competition between the Jello dig and the Baby sand for first place. The Jello Dig seemed to keep Nora entertained for longer (she seriously played in it for almost an hour!). I think the Baby Sand would have been better if I had included some fun items in the sand such as bowls or other sensory objects.

I made the baby sand with graham crackers and oatmeal!

I used an entire box of graham crackers (about 25 crackers or so). I broke them up into smaller pieces by hand and placed them in a blender on the “liquefy” setting. I did the same with the oatmeal and them mixed the two together in the Tupperware. I made sure to run my hands through the sand before I put Nora in to make sure there were no large pieces of cracker left.

A wise investment if you plan to do more activities with your little in the future would be a shallow bin for the activities. The bin you see below was ordered for $5 from Target and has been used for countless activities. We used it in our colorful spaghetti, rainbow rice, moon sand… it has gotten a lot of use! You can check to see if they are in stock at your Target here. 

How to make edible baby sand


I hope your little one enjoys these activities as much as Nora did! I am constantly sharing new ones on our Instagram page! Be sure to follow along with us @Swaddles.n.bottles

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