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One of the toughest things about lockdown with a little baby has got to be missing the baby clubs and playdates.
However until the real thing can be back on the calendar, we have some great ideas for you to recreate baby sensory at home. Check out the videos we have listed below and see what you and baby think, we hope you like smooth jazz and baby-friendly pop jingles!
Baby sensory videos are a great way to introduce your baby to some exciting shapes, colours and songs, and you can combine them with 3D activities too. Highly contrasting black and white images are best for little babies, as this will provide something simple but engaging that babies can totally focus on, actually allowing their minds to rest- there is a lot going on in there for a baby as they are constantly taking in their surroundings!
Sensory videos can be a great way to encourage visual stimulation and eye co-ordination, but it is also important to remember that babies need multi-sensory activities to promote development. Some great 3D sensory activities you can do with your baby that are screen-free are; tummy time with different toys laid out for them to grab and look at- or for you to show them, laying under the baby gym looking up at all the attachments, listening to music, sensory bottles, looking at bright and textured books together, playing with all sorts of textures- a sensory play mat is amazing for this! The ideas are endless and don't forget about bath time; this is an amazing sensory opportunity for you and your baby too.
1.High Contrast Patterns, Shapes and Animations
Hey Bear Sensory
Hey Bear Sensory has a whole array of different videos, ranging in lengths but we recommend these shorter ones to watch alongside 3D sensory activities. This video shows black and white shapes and patterns only, so great for tiny babies; as your baby reaches the 3 month mark they will start to show an interest in and be able to see bright colours too which you can start to incorporate.
2.Say Hello to the Sun
The Wow Group
This song has been used in countless baby sensory classes, and now you can listen at home! The video is all colours and shapes with no black and white, so better for older babies, however, this calming lullaby style song is great to accompany play at home. The soothing tune may even send your little one off to sleep!
3.Bach for Baby-Brain Development-High Contrast Baby Video
CheriEbooks - Kids Learning
This is a high contrast video showing black, white and contrasting coloured shapes, accompanied by lovely calming classical music by J.S. Bach. Classical music is widely believed to promote intelligence when played in pregnancy and to little ones. Whether this 100% true or not, music of all kinds definitely helps to build music-related pathways in the brain. Music can have positive effects on our moods that may make learning easier, and its never really too early to introduce baby to the classics!
4.The Very Hungry Caterpillar Animated Book
PlayStory DDO DDO
This is a really beautiful shadow puppet re-telling of the famous Eric Carle book. Older children will probably enjoy this too as it is really clever- they might want to make their own! The contrasting black and white images and soothing voice-over make it a perfect way to introduce little babies to The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
Hey Bear Sensory
This video shows super bold colours on a black background, with lots of different moving shapes. Although these videos are great for helping with baby's eyesight, and sensory stimulation- we recommend this style of video to be played just a little at a time, and for babies more than a few months old as it is very easy for little ones to become overstimulated.
6.Underwater Glowing Baby Sensory Video
Caribu: Kids Videos and Songs!
This is a really calming musical video, with neon brightly coloured sea creatures drifting around on a dark ocean background, great contrast for developing eyes! The glowing shapes are really mesmerising, so luckily this video is only ten minutes long, so not too hypnotising for tired parents!
Songs of Birdland
Songs of Birdland create relaxing music for babies, inspired by the smooth jazz age. These pieces are performed by two parents who couldn't find the calming, classic style of music they were after that would help to relax their baby, so being musicians themselves they recorded their own! These videos are purely intended to be used as audio, and are all quite long so great to leave playing during naptime, or on in the background at home. Not only will listening to jazz stimulate your baby's imagination but according to research, jazz music improves verbal ability, focus, memory and mood, pretty impressive! These tracks are also available on Spotify.
8.The Baby Club
If you are looking for ideas on how to create sensory play set-ups for your baby at home, this show is a great place to start. It is like being at a baby club with other parents and babies but in your own home- so perfect for while we are still social distancing! There are lots of bright colours, songs and stories, not to mention other little babies, and babies love looking at each other- so very interesting for baby to watch as well as for you to join in with together. The YouTube channel linked above features songs and stories, and full episodes can be viewed on BBC iPlayer, and shown daily at 10.20 am on CBeebies.
9.Sun, Moon and Stars
The Singing Walrus
This video has lovely illustrations, accompanied by a sweet uplifting song- lyrics are in the description so you can learn the words to sing anytime, and subtitled to you can join in, babies love to listen to their parent's voices! This is a colourful story about three little chicks setting off on a space journey with their homemade space suits and rocket, great for little imaginations.
Freelance writer Amy lives in Hampshire with her 3 year old daughter, who is a super energetic, chatty child, leading to Amy’s interest in all matters to do with infant and child sleeping patterns and mindfulness for adults and children. Amy’s degree was in fashion design and she loves filling their beautiful home full of interesting textiles, tiles, art, ceramics, and houseplants or, alternatively, pining over them on Instagram. When they aren’t out exploring in the fresh air they can be found cosying up at home, painting, knitting, and dancing!