Today has been quite busy, we had a baby group to attend at 10am this morning. Last time, Autumn slept through the entire thing. Naturally, this time, she decided to be awake and in constant need of something. Afterwards, we went to the supermarket to stock up on food, which was just as well as I’ve had the munchies today! She hates hats and spent a lot of the time in the supermarket whinging because she was wearing a hat and then whinging because her frustrated wiggling was making her hat come down over her eyes!
I’ve been excited for this afternoon for a couple of weeks now, as I’d booked the sensory room at our local children’s centre. I don’t know whether this is something all children’s centres have, or if they’re only at some, but it’s definitely worthwhile trying to find out whether your children’s centre has one or if there’s one you can use in your local area.
There are many benefits to sensory play; play that stimulates the senses. Even with very small babies, it’s never too early to start with simple sensory play as it has been proven that it helps to connect neural pathways within the brain and helps children to develop ‘cognitively, linguistically, socially and emotionally, physically and creatively’ .
We had to remove our shoes to enter and it was all a lot more high-tech than I had anticipated! There was a projector with slides of butterflies and space and another projector that made it look like there was a starry sky. There were fibre-optic cables, UV lights, a hi-fi, a ball pool with lights, a big light with fish in it and a box full of shakers and material, as well as a couple of other things for older children once they can sit up and crawl. I had just been expecting a small room with a basic fibre-optic light, some materials and some rattles, so I was very impressed!
After our induction, we had around twenty minutes alone in the room to play with Autumn. There was just one problem…Autumn was very much asleep (don’t the UV lights look awesome though?!) Fortunately, it turned out to be a light sleep and when I put her down next to the light with the fish in it, she must have seen it through half closed eyes and took an interest.
I have to say, I found it very relaxing myself! She was absolutely mesmerised by the changing colours in it and I could see her following the fish with her eyes.
They recommend not doing too many things in one session, otherwise you’ll over-stimulate your child which may cause them to become frustrated. If there’s one thing I don’t want to do, it’s stimulate my child to the point where it’s frustrated and won’t sleep due to over-stimulation!
We also decided we would use the ball pool today – Dave was very excited about it! When we put Autumn in there, she wasn’t too sure at first! However, before long, she started to enjoy it – kicking and waving her arms around to make the balls move and she even started licking and trying to eat them (we did use anti-bacterial spray on them before we left!) You can see the enjoyment on her face!
I’m looking forward to our next adventures in the sensory room and trying out different activities as Autumn gets older. What sensory play do you like to do with your little one?