Providing sensory play activities for young children is important, however, I find that there are many fun and exciting sensory activities that require lots of prep time. In our home, I have found ways to use different materials to create simple sensory experiences for our twins. I’ll share with you some easy Montessori sensory activities for an 8-month-old baby. Keep in mind, many of these will span beyond 8 months old.
What Classifies a “Sensorial Activity”?
When I think of sensory activities, I think of something that engages the child’s senses. These things are touch, sight, sound, taste, and smell. A child will learn new things and have great sensory development by being provided as many opportunities for sensorial exploration through their daily lives. The ideas I have to share with you are simple, regular activities. Many of which you would encounter in your daily life.
I find these ideas encouraging to me as a mother because there is often times pressure to “do fun things”, however, for a baby taking a bath is often times a very fun activity as well as a great sensory activity that uses their senses of touch, sound, maybe even smell with the soap we use or lotion we apply after the bath. Don’t underestimate these moments of everyday life.
Textured Basket with Various Objects
Different textures are a great way to activate a baby’s senses! Find a textured basket, our boys love this wicker one with a lid, then fill the basket with 2-3 objects. Household items work great for this. You can make baskets for different rooms in your home. Be careful of small toys and make sure no objects in the basket are a choking hazard.
A great idea is putting different objects that are used in a specific room into a basket. In your kitchen, you could have a basket with measuring spoons, a wooden spoon, a whisk, or (my boys favorite) a silicone baster! In the bathroom, you could have a small basket with a hairbrush, comb, and toothbrush.
Basket of Ribbons
For younger babies, having a basket of ribbons of different colors can be a fun sensory activity that doesn’t require much preparation or mess at all! Choose ribbons of various textures, sizes, and colors. Alternatively you could tie the ribbons to a wooden ring, which would be a fun grasping toy for your baby to play with.
Pull-up Bar with Mirror
Around 8 months old, babies begin to pull themselves up onto things. This Montessori pull-up bar with a mirror is a perfect opportunity for a baby to develop their gross motor skills. The best part of this setup is that while the baby is working to stabilize themselves, they can see how their body is moving, and they get feedback on their movements. This pull-up bar is a fun way for a baby to work on pulling up on things, not to mention the bar is such an easy thing for them to pull up and grasp onto, which is important when they are working on those new skills.
Tissue Box with Cloth Tissues
This activity is made by using fabric to make cloth tissues. Fold them up and place them in a tissue box. Your baby will love to pull out the tissues. This is a great activity to practice the motion of pulling something out and work on hand-eye coordination.
Small Bell or Balls with Rattle
One of my twin’s favorite objects is this small brass bell. It is the perfect size for their hand and they can move it to make the most lovely bell sound. Alternatively, you could use a ball that has a bell or rattle inside or one of those craft jingle bells attached to a ribbon.
Introduction to New Foods
8-month-old babies are eating more and more solid foods. Introducing new foods is a great way to try new textures and even temperatures! Offering different flavors and a variety of foods will give you an easy way to give your baby a sensorial experience while also providing some more nutrition for them.
A great way to work on language development is by talking about what you are doing to your baby as you are doing it. You may be surprised at how they are already able to participate and respond to you in small ways. I found that when I was wiping the boys down from their high chairs after a meal, I would always start with their hands. I would lightly tap on one hand and say, “Can I wipe this hand please?” To my surprise, they now will reach their hand out onto the washcloth! Their cognitive development has come so far in just a few short months, pretty amazing!
This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission at no extra cost to you. See my full disclosure here.
Cookie Tray with Water
At 8 months my twins were not yet sitting up completely independent, so they still enjoyed tummy time. Next time you have a warm day just take a cookie tray outside and fill it with some water for some sensorial water play. Let your baby splash and play. You could use cold water or add some ice cubes if you wanted them to experience the feeling of cold (maybe do this right before they are going to be done with the activity, as you don’t want your baby to get cold or not enjoy the activity).
Shelf or Basket with Books
Keep out a basket of books or have a low bookshelf with books your baby can access freely. Reading books with your baby will help them to develop language skills! Books offer so much to look at and are great for your baby’s brain. Don’t worry about how your baby is handling the book, they may look at it upside-down or while it is closed, all of these things are helping them to discover something about the book. Very soon their little hands will be flipping the pages and telling you the story!
Taking a Bath
A favorite activity for my twins is taking a bath! Bathing is an easy sensory activity you can do with your baby. Get some bath toys and warm water and you are all set for a fun time with your little one! Simple activities such as bath time or getting PJ’s on can be a great connection point with your little one as well as a sensorial experience.
By 8 months a baby’s ability to handle objects is improving. They have more cognitive skills and have met many developmental milestones. The object permanence box is a sensory toy that focuses on this idea of object permanence, that an object exists even when not seen (or not seen fully). For example, if a toy is stuck under the couch and one part of it is showing or peeking out, your baby will likely grab and pull the whole object out, knowing that the rest of it exists even though it is not seen.
The object permanence box is a wooden box with a hole on the top and a little door that the ball rolls through. Model to your baby how this toy works, they will explore with the ball. I found that after many times playing with this toy, then my son independently put the ball into the hole. I would model and show him every time he was playing with it.
Sound Shaker Sensory Bottles
I’m all about easy sensory activities! These fun sound shaker sensory bottles took me only a few minutes to make! Check out this blog post for more detailed instructions on how to make your own DIY sound shaker sensory bottles! These are great because you can use things that you have on-hand at home.
The Montessori spinning drum is a Montessori toy that spins, while it spins there is a bell inside that makes a lovely rattle sound. Another reason why I love this Montessori toy is because it provides feedback to the child. They see that their movements are causing the spinning drum to move and make a sound. This understanding of cause and effect is great for a young child to understand!
Favorite Sensory Toys at 8-Months-Old
I hope you have thought of some new ways to offer your baby a sensorial experience, or have been encouraged to see that almost everything we do can be a sensorial activity. We don’t need to always make things fun things like rainbow spaghetti, although that may be super fun, but maybe serving spaghetti with contrasting bright colored vegetables at dinner will create a great sensory experience for your baby. If you are looking for more Montessori-inspired content, inspiration, and education, check out these posts on the blog!
25 shares Facebook Pinterest Email Print This week felt very sentimental and special. I have been thinking about the many days leading up to the twins’ birth as well as…
We need to keep the Montessori principles in mind regarding Montessori floor beds or Montessori cribs (not sure if this exists, but more on that later). Montessori is far more…
Are you looking for things to do with your baby? I know the feeling when the day feels long and you are just at a loss for what to do…
There are many great written works about The Montessori Method and how to practically implement these approaches in our environments. Many were written by Maria Montessori. But also, many have…
Best Montessori Cause and Effect Toys for Toddlers Young children love to see the effects of their actions. From a very young age, babies and toddlers explore their environment looking…
Montessori schools and homes have unique values and characteristics that set them apart from more traditional classrooms and homes. You may see children making independent choices, small group presentations, young…