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Sensory Play Ideas

Melissa & Immi's story

I’m Melissa, a Teacher and Mum to Immi (12 months old). I love to ensure I’m targeting particular areas of development through the activities I plan for Immi at home.

I try to not get too far ahead of myself with planning and preparing our activities and take her lead through watching what she’s showing a particular interest in, or observing what she’s avoiding.

I’ve been really blessed in my teaching career and have had the opportunity to train with and work closely with Speech Pathologists and Occupational Therapists – an absolute blessing for working with kids of any age, in any context. This knowledge has also helped me immensely in introducing new concepts and activities for Immi at home.

“Immi loves messy play and is incredibly independent, preferring to feed herself! We found ‘grabease cutlery’ perfect for her little arms and hands and haven’t looked back.”​

Jelly Dig​

The jelly dig was a simple and fun sensory activity for Immi to practice her skills with cutlery, whilst using both hands independently and simultaneously.

What you need for a Jelly Dig

  • A heavy bottomed pan (to avoiding tipping)
  • Natural Flavoured Jelly
  • Fresh Fruit
  • A Teether
  • Stacking cups 
  • Shapes from a shape sorter
  • Any other items that baby is showing interest in. 
  • Selection of spoons, forks, and scoops. 
I included items that Immi has been showing a particular interest in of late – a teether, stacking cups, shapes from her shape sorter and of course, food!

Instructions

  • Prepare Jelly as per packet instructions.
  • Pour into pan and allow to cool to lukewarm.
  • Add fruit, shapes, teether and other special interest items into cooled Jelly mix.
  • Put in the fridge to set (overnight is good for next day activities)

We’re going to play around with different versions of this jelly dig to continue developing hand eye coordination, fine motor skills and to continue exploring textures in a fun, tasty way! We hope you and your little one enjoy it as much as we did and continue to change it up too for future motor development!

‘I like to give Immi as much choice as possible with the ‘tools’ I give her for different activities. She had the choice of a small scoop, a recycled formula scoop and her grabease spoon and fork. She put the fork straight to work, testing the texture of the jelly, breaking the surface and getting to the fruit at the bottom of the tray.’
Sensory play ideas for babies

Melissa is a Teacher who began her career in a low socio-economic school with over 90% of students from non-English speaking backgrounds. She fell in love with working in this setting, and have remained in similar schools, where I currently work part time as an Instructional Leader – Deputy Principal. As a teacher with a particular interest and understanding of the power of early intervention, I feel it’s integral to provide as many rich learning activities as possible through a variety of ways, most importantly through play.

You can follow Melissa and Immi on Instagram @life_with_immi_and_harper

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