Simple Sensory Activities for a 10-Month-Old

10 months old is a perfect time to offer simple activities that support and help to develop a baby’s sense of touch, smell, sound, sight, and taste. I have 14 fun and simple sensory play ideas for 10-month-olds. If you are looking for a great way to offer a new sensory expereince, check out these next activities. As a Montessori teacher and mama, these are all recommendations for passive toys that require the baby’s interaction. Here are some of the best sensory activities at 10 months old!

Developmental Milestones at 10 Months

Let’s quickly cover what is happening developmentally at 10 months old. Remember that every baby is very different and there are large ranges to when children will meet certain milestones at different times. Here are some things that your bay may be doing or will be doing soon. 

  • Crawling
  • Pulling to stand 
  • Cruising along furniture
  • Walking (typically between 9 and 16 months)
  • Clapping
  • Interested in food
  • Turns pages of a book
  • Imitating sounds
  • Picks up small objects with fingers (pincer grasp)
Graphic of a child painting with yogurt on a baking sheet. Text overlay that says "sensory Baby Activities".

Bead Mover

A bead mover with chunky beads is a perfect way to support finger dexterity. Our bead mover got a lot of use around this age. In front of your child, model how to move the beads along the wires slowly. Bead movers support fine motor skills and require hand-eye coordination. As the child moves the beads, they will further develop their pincer grasp, an important fine motor skill for babies.

bead mover toy
Bead mover

Poke a Dot Books

Poke-A-Dot books have been a favorite with my boys. These books provide a new sensory experience and an opportunity for language development. They would love to isolate one of their fingers and pop the dots. The dots make a satisfying ‘pop’ sound, providing feedback and sensory stimulation for babies and toddlers.

Poke-A-Dot book

Musical Instruments

At this stage, a baby is exploring with objects in different ways. They are shaking and banging objects to see what happens. The nature of their exploration at this stage makes open-ended toys like musical instruments a great option. You could get a musical instrument set like this one from Melissa and Doug or order some individual musical instruments. Here are a few different items that young children will love! 

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Hang a Low Picture

A simple change you could make to your home environment is by hanging artwork or pictures low on the wall for your baby to be able to see. Consider securing it to the wall with some velcro command strips, I found this to be a secure and safe way to put pictures low. 

A wooden shelf with two shelves and toys on it. A picture of flowers being cut hanging on the wall. Toys: cars, a basket with blocks, drawers with knobs, and a basket of stacking spoolz.

Floor Drum 

One of the best toys could be a floor drum. What I love about offering materials like a drum, is that the baby has a great opportunity for new sensory play experiences and will also hear feedback on their movements. Depending on how loud they hit the drum will change the sound the drum makes. As babies make connections about the world around them, a floor drum is a great toy to have in your home for them to expereince their effect on their environment. 

Floor Drum

The perfect floor drum for exploring sound! It comes in 8 or 10 inch diameter as well as a bongo drum set with a 5 and 6 inch drum connected together.

Object Permanence Box

The Montessori object permanence box is a great example of a developmentally appropriate material at 10 months old. A baby’s brain is coming to understand and recognize this idea of object permanence. Object permanence is the idea that things exist even when I can’t see them. For example, if a toy is under the couch and a baby can see part of it sticking out, they are making the connection that the whole thing is there. This is why games like peek-a-boo are so engaging and fun for a child. The object permanence box isolates this idea and allows a child to explore it at their own pace supporting their cognitive development at this stage. 

box with ball
Object Permanence Box

Ice Cubes in a Tray with Water

A fun activity to introduce water play with your baby, and new textures, is by filling a tray with water and putting some warm water and ice cubes in the tray. You could also add some objects on the tray or freeze fruit in the ice cubes to offer a different expereince. If your baby isn’t sitting up independently at this stage, this activity makes a great tummy-time water play activity. I loved that this was a safe and fun way to play water with 10-month-old babies. 

Twins splashing water in a cookie sheet

DIY Montessori Shaker Bottle

Sensory activities at 10 months old can be simple DIY projects, like creating some shaker sensory bottles. I used old spice jars and filled them with different food objects like dried rice, oatmeal, popcorn kernels, and coffee beans. You could fill them with anything, especially household objects, like buttons or jingle bells. Alternatively, you could fill an empty water bottle with similar small items. Regardless of the bottle or container used, make sure the lid or top is on securely. 

Four glass bottles with differnet objects inside: coffee beans, rice, popcorn and sesame seeds.

Tissue Box

Babies love to pull things out of containers. For a simple activity, you can make or buy a Tissue box with cloth tissues to allow your child to pull them out repeatedly. You could use fabric of different textures to make it even more appealing to your child. 

Baby Tissue Box Toy

This tissue box is the perfect sensory activity for a baby to feel different textures and practice pulling something out of a container.

Basket of Household Items

Never underestimate the excitement of a whisk, a wooden spoon, or a silicone baster. So many of the objects we use in our daily lives are sensory items. The next time you need new ways to engage your 10-month-old baby, try putting together a sensory bin of different objects. You could theme the baskets. A kitchen basket could have a whisk a measuring spoon, tongs, a spatula, and a baster. In a bathroom basket, you could have a toothbrush, a hairbrush a comb, and a bath toy. 

Basket of household kitchen objects.

Yogurt or Veggie Finger Painting

Sensory play activities can tend to get messy and this one is a bit of a mess, but no more than mealtime already is! You could use yogurt on a baking tray at the table for a new sensory activity. To make the yogurt colored, you could add food coloring or make natural food coloring by using the juice of some fruit.

There is this neat product, it is Veggie finger paint. It is an organic veggie paint powder that can be mixed with water to make edible finger paints! So there is no problem when they explore it with their mouth, which they are likely still doing at this stage. 

Vegan Finger Paints

Edible organic veggie paint powder to allow your baby and toddler to finger paint safely. Easy to use and so much fun!

One way to get another sensory expereince with even less messy play is to put the baby-safe paint into a ziplock bag and tape it to your table or floor. A baby can use their fingers to move the paint around inside the bag. 

Listening for Sounds 

Babies absorb everything around them because of their absorbent minds. They hear so many different sounds and are probably looking around to see where the sounds are coming from. Sensory activities for 10 month old babies don’t need to be messy, instead, we can intentionally go into an environment where there will be new sounds for them to listen to. By naming the sounds for them, we support their language skills and deepen their understanding of the world around them.

DIY Flip Door Busy Board

A cheap and easy DIY activity is to use the tops of diaper wipe packages and create a flip door busy board. This will be a great time for your baby. You can add pictures of family members under each door for them to open up and look at. This would be a great activity to make and have for car rides or traveling. I glued a piece of decorative paper to a piece of cardboard and laminated it to make it more durable.

A piece of paper with diaper wipe flip lids and a picture on the inside.

Food Exploration

One of the best sensory activities for a baby at 10 months old where they can expereince lots of different textures, smells, and tastes is with food. We can offer a variety of food for them to explore and taste. 

Plate with a quarter of a tomato, a banana spear and a cucumber spear
Tomato, banana and cucumber prepared for blw

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