After our sweet baby girl turned 6 months old she became extremely curious about all the things around her. We could probably say she was a bit hasty regarding her moving around and exploring new areas in the house. She started to get up by grabbing the edge of her crib and crawling when we put her on the floor. She soon managed to sit on her own, too.
While we were busy trying to figure out a way to create a safe area for her to move and play in (a ‘Yes Space’ in RIE terms), we needed an activity that kept her happy, entertained and stimulated her senses without us interacting with her.
We made some research and we came across a great idea: the sensory box. We decided to make her one, since the ones we found ready-made (ex. Discovery-Box-Sensory-Play-Exploration) were not suitable for her age because of chocking hazard. We also prefered to use items we knew she likes to be sure the box will attract her. So, we already had a medium sized basket, which we filled up with various toys, from soft squeaky cubes and stacking up cups to colored balls with different sizes and textures, pieces of knoted cloths and large jar lids.
We can actually say she was thrilled about it. She sat quietly for minutes in front of the sensory box, exploring, searching and examining its contents, giving us time to make the necessary adjustments to the living room for her soon to be ‘Yes space’.
The sensory box idea came to us from the need to have some free time to resolve our issues, while our baby was active, happy and safe. However, we still stick to it and swap its contents from time to time. The box was moved to her ‘Yes space’ and she still uses it, especially when mom has to do housework.
The basic idea is to fill the basket with visually, tactile and audible objects according to the baby or child’s age. We chose it because it has lots of advantages. Sensory play may calm your baby or keep her focused and engaged. It is a great way for babies to develop independent play, to understand their body’s senses and engage their mind through them, to let them discover, explore and learn valuable play skills.
In conclusion, you should give it a try. It makes the baby independent, happy and it gives the parents more time for themselves.