I keep seeing things on Pinterest about sensory playtime and at first I wasn’t really sure what it was. Basically it is letting your little one feel different things (usually in a plastic bag so as to not make a mess) which will both entertain them as well as build their sense of touch. This afternoon Lily was getting fussy so I decided to try it out and see how well it entertained her. Unfortunately it failed for a few reasons which I am going to share so that if you try it hopefully you won’t make the same mistakes and will have a successful playtime.
Lily hasn’t quite learned how to push herself up with her arms so as you can see in the photo I used a rolled up blanket under her chest to support her and make it easier for her to play. You could use a bobby which was my intent except I didn’t want to go all the way downstairs to get mine and the blanket was right there. I duck taped the bag to the floor so she wouldn’t be able to get it in her mouth. The first sensory item I used was rice. I’ve never seen rice used for sensory play before but it worked okay. What I did wrong was I didn’t double bag it and about two minutes in I noticed she had managed to tear a hole in the bag with her fingernails and gotten a piece of rice out so I had to take it away.
The next item I used was ICE. This time I double bagged it before I taped it down. Unfortunately the two things wrong here was first of all I had left too much air in both the bags and so it was hard for her to really get to the blocks of ICE. Secondly it was dangerously closed to her nap time and she was too fussy to really play at all. She played around with the ICE for about one minute and began to fuss so playtime ended and I put her down for her much needed nap.
What I learned:
1) Don’t do this too close to bedtime.
I think she may have been started to get frustrated that she couldn’t put the things in her mouth anyway and tiredness on top of that made the situation not enjoyable for her.
2) Double bag and or cut fingernails.
I would suggest both double bagging the items and cutting baby’s fingernails before attempting sensory playtime. If you don’t do at least one you’ll probably end up with a mess on your hands as well as most items are going to be choking hazards.
3) Get all the air out of the bag.
If not its going to be too hard for baby to feel the items and they may not be entertained as well.
In conclusion: I’m going to give sensory playtime another chance, I think she will enjoy it as long as she’s not too tired and I will enjoy it once I’ve cut he nails and double bagged everything so as not to have to worry about her choking.