If you’ve ever watched your toddler play, you know that children are extremely sensory individuals. From touching, to tasting, to smelling, each new activity can help your child develop both their imagination, as well as their cognitive senses. Using a variety of tools, props, and fun games can help stimulate their mind. Try these touch and feel activities for your toddler the next time you get a chance.
Name That Food!
Having your child test out different scents and tastes can strongly develop their olfactory senses and taste buds. Pick out a variety of different tasty foods that you have at your home, and don’t let your toddler see. This could be anything from cheese, to baked cookies, to toasting bread – just make sure it’s something that your toddler would eat.
To start the game, have them close their eyes, or even have fun by giving them a blindfold. With each object, have them smell it first so they can acquire the scent. If they can’t match the smell with the food, progress by having them feel it in their hands to recognize it by touch. Next step is taste, which they should surely master. Going through each step progressively will help your child match different sensations with each object.
Learn About Water
Learning about the difference between wet and dry objects can be a startling sensory activity for your toddler. Start out during bath time, pointing out the difference between things that are wet and things that are dry, and the connection between water. You can show them how things become slippery when they are wet, and even change temperature.
This can also be a lesson on how things float. If your toddler has a few bath toys, place them in the water and let them float, and then show them how they can’t float in air. See how they react to the difference between wet and dry. You may also help this by showing them their reflection in the water, in order to further understand the mysterious substance.
This doesn’t have to be messy, and can teach your toddler about colors and how they can use their own hands to create new images and portraits. In your back or front yard, set up a station for fingerpainting. Once ready, ask your child to draw and experiment with the different colors and ways to paint.
After they’ve figured it out, start asking them to paint specific things for you. If you have a pet dog, see if they can try to paint that. Or ask them to paint their house, and use colors accordingly.
This sensory activity for your toddler can help them learn about colors, shapes, sizes, and the connection between what they see and what they can paint.
Listen to the World
Keeping your toddler in tune with the sounds of the world can also be a fun sensory activity to perform. Finding books with audio companions are helpful, but if you don’t have that, don’t worry.
Start by asking your toddler to name specific sounds they hear. For example, use a dog barking, a bird tweeting, or a cat meowing somewhere in the distance. Once they begin to understand these individual noises, move on to other things, like a car starting or moving, someone laughing, or even things like popcorn popping or a kettle boiling.
Each are noises and specific sounds that occur on a daily basis, and having your child understand each individually is great progress in their cognitive development.