Sensory Blankets And Toys For Cognitive Development
So, what’s with the buzz about sensory blankets and toys? Sensory is a bit of a buzz word at the moment and it seems every online baby store is jumping on the bandwagon – but what does it really mean to buy sensory blankets and toys for your little one?
Ever noticed your baby sitting in the high chair and watching as he drops his food carefully onto the floor below? Ever wondered what he was thinking? Well, besides the entertainment factor of watching the dog wolf down his peas, your baby is busy learning about cause and effect – cognitive learning and development at work. Cognitive development is a key developmental stage in childhood. It’s a measure of how well children learn vital thinking, reasoning, problems solving and other “cognitive” processes – including how to get rid of their unwanted dinner!
Why is providing cognitive stimulation important?
Early childhood is the key window when this part of your child’s brain starts to develop at an intense rate. Now is the time to help your child explore his own intellect. In infancy, that may be as simple as squeezing a toy, and seeing it “pop back” or watching a door open and close, open and close….endlessly! Get your child’s neurons firing by providing them with toys and blankets especially designed to stimulate senses and assist with cognitive development.
Sensory Toys for Older Babies and Toddlers
Think of your child as a little scientist trying to understand and make sense of the world they live in. This is even true in babies as they start to learn how to use their hands and how to move them and how to control them. A key part of a baby’s learning is by putting things in their mouths – as any mum will know! Providing your baby with shapes, textures, sizes, sounds, colours and even smells helps to stimulate neurons in her brain and to kickstart her cognitive development.
Sensory soft cubes and balls are great for the budding crawler in your world. A soft, squishy ball or cube, complete with taggies, bells, colours and shapes adds an extra dimension to newly learned crawling skills.
Sensory Blankets for Young Babies
To help stimulate your baby’s learning, have you considered a sensory blanket? Not only does it provide comfort and reassurance, but it will help stimulate her little mind. Sensory blankets have bright, bold colours for visual impact. They are so tactile with soft, plush, feel good fabrics for little fingers to grasp and feel. Most come with “taggies”, a row of looped silky ribbons for your baby to explore, fiddle with and of course put in his mouth and suck and drool on!
A taggie might not seem very interesting to you, but to your baby, it’s something that “pops back” when pushed, changes shape, has a fiddly little hole in the middle when you hold it right, feels funny on her fingers, is silky (or chunky, or firm) and it feels good on sore gums. Pretty amazing for a little loop of fabric, huh!
What’s with Newborns and Black and White?
Newborns struggle to see much with any clarity so you may notice the stark contrast of black and white designs on mobiles, black and white flashcards and high contrast on newborn baby toys. This helps the baby to make out the shape, to help with eye development and focus and to stimulate the brain through different, bold shapes. That’s why, among all the beautiful soft pinks and blues and yellows of baby stores, you’ll see a collection of harsh, contrasting black and white toys!
So encourage your little one’s cognitive development. Choose toys that will challenge and engage your little one and stimulate his senses. Although it might seem like your baby is just sucking on his sensory blanket, he’s actually hard at work thinking, learning and problem solving while he does so.
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