I remember right around when my son hit 6 months old and I realized that my sweet little guy was no longer an infant and tummy time was not going to cut it.
He was ready for baby play!
But I had no idea what “baby play” really was.
He was starting to sit on his own and crawl and I needed something to engage him in a whole new way- enter sensory play!
Once I figured out what sensory play was and how many easy (yes EASY) ways I could provide simple activities for those little fingers, I was obsessed.
It was so much fun watching him explore each thing and I could see his eyes light up with each new activity.
If you have a sweet little not so infant and are ready to try sensory play, I have some simple sensory experiences for you to try with your little one.
The best thing is they are easy to do and a little can really go a long way when it comes to entertaining a 6 month old.
What Is Sensory Play?
Sensory play is a way for your child to activate their 5 senses (taste, touch, smell, sound, sight) through hands on activities.
Some sensory activities engage with one of the senses and others engage with many.
This is why it’s so fun to do- each activity gives your child an opportunity to explore something different.
When I first started looking into sensory play I was overwhelmed by the Pinterest pictures of babies rolling around in paint or buckets of rice being thrown around the entire kitchen.
I couldn’t do that level of mess and didn’t think sensory play was for me until I found moms like me who wanted to engage their child and get their little fingers moving, but also wanted minimal clean up and mess.
My point of this is that sensory play can be as easy and simple as you want it or as complex and messy, whatever feels good for you as a mama is the perfect fit for your child.
Benefits Of Sensory Play
The big question I had when I first started looking into sensory play is what is it and why should I do it?
I found that sensory play was a great way for my little guy to grow in so many areas of his development.
Swiss psychologist, Jean Piaget believed (theory of cognitive development) that young children in the sensorimotor stage (birth-2 years) learn a great deal about cause and effect as they explore with their senses and gain control over their motor abilities through play.
– aids in brain development
– helps with physical awareness
– foster adaptability
– provides comfort
– encourage language development
– improves fine motor skills
– benefits language skills
– improves gross motor skills
– fosters creativity and problem solving
– encourage social and emotional development
– helps with hand-eye coordination
and the list goes on.
As a mom this felt like one of those activities that gave me a lot of bang for my buck and sounded really fun.
I knew I wanted to do it and I knew I needed it to be an easy, simple activities that I could throw together.
Below you will find a list of activities that are easy, fun and very engaging!
Sensory Activities For 6 Month Olds
1. Paint With Edible Paint
Yes edible paint!
What is this you ask?
I had the same question.
It is basically letting your child paint with things they can eat and it is a perfect activity for a little one who is constantly putting their hands in their mouth.
There are a ton of recipes online to make edible paint or a simple idea is give them different color baby foods (sweet potato, beets- try to find different colors of paint) and let them have some fun!
For easy clean up, have your child sit in their high chair and let the magic happen there!
This is also a great outdoor activity-especially in summer!
2. Jello Dig
If you have ever watched the office you will appreciate this activity so much and if you haven’t you will still love it because it involves jello, digging and a lot of fun!
Basically, you get a container (clear plastic containers work great), add some fun small toys (I know we all have a million random toys around the house) and fill the container with jello and let it sit.
Once it’s ready to go, put the container in front of your little one and let them go wild!
I will say that this one is just as much fun for your child as it is for you to watch.
3. Edible Baby Sand
At this point in your life you know that if your child grabs it, it is a fact that it will go in their mouth.
This is why edible sand is genius and such a great activity to get your child engaging their senses, while also exposing them to different textures.
There are many different ways to make this and there are a ton of recipes online but my favorite is putting a bunch of cheerios in a blender or food processor until you have a sand like texture and then letting their little hands explore.
4. Play With Ice
This was the first sensory activity I ever did with my son because it was so easy and such a fun activity!
This is a simple way to let your child explore temperatures and solids vs liquids (the ice will in fact melt quickly when warm little hands and mouths are on it).
All you have to do for this is put ice cubes in a Ziploc bag and let your child explore it!
When I first did this one my child was not quite solid on sitting up so I taped the bag down to the floor and he scooted all around it, on it, pushed down on it with his hands and his face, pretty much any possible way he could interact with the ice he did and he loved it!
5. Attach A Balloon To Baby’s Foot
Another great sensory activity and maybe the easiest!
Attach a balloon to your little ones foot and let the fun begin!
This will occupy them for quite awhile and keep their little minds in awe.
It’s fun to lay down next to your child when they are laying down and talk about how the balloon is moving when they move.
6. Play Peek-A-Boo
A great game, as well as a fun sensory activity- peek-a-boo!
This one, as you can guess, really engages your child’s sense of sight.
The best part is that it can be played anywhere and you can even reverse the game by holding up a small towel between you and your child and then bringing it down when you say “peek-a-boo”.
7. Water Play
Water play is the best!
It can be done in the bathtub, outside, or if your brave, right on your kitchen floor!
Water play is simple- letting your child play with water.
Giving them things like cups or toys makes it even more fun.
My son loved putting toys in and out of the water and his favorite thing was making them splash.
The best part of this is that it is an easy sensory activity where a little goes a long way.
Bonus activity: add bubbles to the water!
8. Kitchen Utensil Play
Sometimes I wonder if it’s worth buying toys.
My son is 100% more likely to find hours of entertainment with household items than a fancy toy.
This is why I LOVE kitchen utensil play!
It’s a great sensory activity to do while you are doing dishes or cooking dinner.
Some things to let your child experiment with: a wooden spoon, muffin tins, bowls, cups, measuring cups- really anything that would be safe for them!
9. Play With A Baby-Safe Mirror
Mirror play is an easy sensory activity that is so dang cute.
Give your child a baby-safe mirror and let them enjoy watching themselves.
There will for sure be many mirror kisses!
10. Play With Oobleck
Have you heard of the Oobleck craze?
It’s a real thing and I get why! Kids of all ages love this stuff, and I say stuff because it’s not a liquid or a solid it’s just, well, Oobleck!
There are a ton of recipes online and it’s super easy!
This is the ultimate hands-on activities and your little one will love it!
My older son is still obsessed with this and can be entertained by it for long stretches of time. It really is the best!
This one with definitely make your baby giggle!
11. Frozen Pea Sensory Bag
You can never go wrong with a sensory bag for little hands.
These are such easy ways for your child to explore different things, while also being minimal mess and prep!
Fill a ziplock bag with frozen peas and let your child play with it- that simple!
Just like with ice, a great way to make this accessible to your child if they are not quite crawling or sitting up on their own is to tape the bag on the floor.
If you don’t have peas, you can use anything you have in your freezer! We have done green beans before and it worked great!
12. Sensory Water Bottle
These are SO much fun! They are also super easy and require no clean up (yes dreams do come true!).
Check out this oil and water sensory bottle and enjoy!
13. Hair Gel Sensory Bag
Hair gel and a ziplock bag- boom a sensory activity!
Place hair gel into a ziplock bag (add food coloring to make it colorful) and tape it down onto the surface your child will be playing at.
Your child will have so much fun moving the gel around!
14. Explore Different Materials
I LOVE finding things in my house that I can use for art projects and often have a box full of random things I have kept for “just in case” art projects.
This is why I loved doing this sensory activity with my son. I found bunch of different materials and let him explore them.
Some of my favorites:
-Aluminum foil (taped down) let your child touch, crawl over it and you can even dance or walk on it to show them the fun sounds it can make!
-tape (it’s really fun when you let your child play with tape for the first time and they are in utter amazement that it is sticking on them!)
-Any new textures (this is the time to expose them to a ton of different textures!)
15. Rice Sensory Bin
Rice is such an interesting texture and so much fun to play with!
Grab a container and pour some rice in it and let your child play.
You can add in toys or get really fancy and dye the rice to make different colors.
If your heart is beating fast at the idea of letting your 6 month old have free reign with rice indoors, take it outside and let them make a mess!
Or if you are stuck inside because of weather, put rice into a ziplock bag and let them explore. This option can fit any mama’s comfort and child’s need.
This polar bear sensory bin is another fun, easy option!
Or what about a fun car wash sensory bin!
16. Make Baby-Safe Cloud Dough
Cloud dough was one of the things I first started seeing when I looked for sensory activities and what I loved about it is that it is so easy to make and fun for your little one to explore!
It only takes two ingredients to make: baby rice cereal and coconut oil.
It’s safe for your child to eat and so much fun for their little hands.
17. Taste-Safe Play Dough
Play dough is the best and still a favorite in my household!
Their are a ton of recipes to choose from that are safe for little ones in case (it absolutely will) some of it happens to get into their mouth.
This is a little different than cloud dough because it tends to be a little thicker, providing them different textures.
18. Orbeez Sensory Bag
This is the same amount of fun but contained in a bag!
It gives your child a different experience with Orbeez, letting them spread it out more, while it gives you the mess free and fun sensory activity you always dreamed of!
I still put it in a bag occasionally for my four year old and he still loves it and enjoys the different experiences it gives him.
19. Paint Sensory Bag
This was one of my favorite activities because at the end of it I had a beautiful piece of art to hang up.
Simply put a piece of paper in a ziplock bag, add a few dots of different color paint all around the paper and close the bag.
Set it in front of your child and let them spread and touch the paint (through the bag).
It’s so much fun to move the paint blobs around and even more fun when the paint mixes.
At the end you have a beautiful piece of art and little to no clean up.
20. Empty Water Bottle
I’m including this one because although it is extremely simple and maybe even silly, it is such a great sensory activity!
It engages sight, sound, and touch and will seriously occupy your little one for a long period of time!
They can squeeze it, use it as a drum stick to find that it makes sounds, they can roll it around, the possibilities are endless and it’s an easy activity you can do anywhere.
I hope you enjoyed this list of sensory play activities and found a few (or a ton) you want to try with your child.
Please let me know which ones you and your little ones loved- it’s so much fun hearing about their experiences!