Sometimes it’s hard to come up with sensory play for babies, but I am so excited about this project!! I saw this postfor sensory bags quite awhile ago and so wanted to do it. I just couldn’t quite think of a way to modify for the babe. I was afraid as is, he would for sure be able to get the plastic bags open quickly. Then I saw this post from The Mommies Made Me Do It. Hmmm….I had my answer…duct tape!
Before I go any further please let me just mention that with this activity you are giving a younger child a plastic bag filled with gel. Not traditionally what we would think of as a “toy” for a baby. Please do not leave your child unattended during an activity like this. Safety first, supervise at all times!
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Making this sensory bag couldn’t be easier. All I used was:
Gallon size Ziplock Freeezer Bag (I used a freezer bag because the material is a little sturdier than a non-freezer bag)
Frogs for the bag, and other filler. I found the frogs I used at the Target dollar spot. They were perfect! (If you can no longer find them there, THESE or THESE, would work great. Nothing too sharp or pokey though. You don’t want whatever you put in there to puncture the bag. (At first that’s all I was going to put in it but I thought why stop there! I added a few buttons, some beads, silly bands, and a couple of flat marbles).
To Assemble the Sensory Bag
Fill the bag with hair gel. I happened to find cheap hair gel that was already colored, had I not, I would have just added food coloring to regular hair gel. (tip: you can find huge bottles of hair gel at the dollar store…. cheap). Then, throw in some fun things for baby to look at and squish around in the gel. Squeeze out as much air as you can when you seal the bag. I ran duct tape around all the edges to reinforce it. The duct tape added a little color and made it look kinda cool too (bonus) That’s it! You are good to go!
I’m pretty proud of the frogs…don’t they look like they are swimming in there? We’ll call it a frog pond sensory bag 🙂
At first Mr. C wasn’t sure what to do with it. He would just look at it and smile. (at least he thought it was pretty). Eventually he did get to squishing it around a bit. He especially liked it when I held the bag up so the light would shine through. I’m thinking the next time I get it out I may tape it on our sliding glass doors so he can look at it and explore that way. Believe it or not, much to my surprise, he didn’t try to put this one in his mouth.
This is by no means limited to the youngest set. I think it would be well suited for a lot of ages. My older son was even intrigued with how I made it, what I put in it etc. If you have a large age gap between kids like we do, sometimes its fun to get the the older ones involved in making these types of things for the younger ones. It gives the older kids a project and everyone gets to participate. (I’m a big fan of older kids with projects).
I will definitely be repeating this one as the munchkin man gets older. I’d also like to try making this in a smaller size. I think it would be easier for him to pick up and manipulate. With the hair gel in the gallon size bag it was a bit heavy for him so he was more limited to playing with it like a mat. Please remember though if you do an activity be sure to supervise your child at all times. Plastic bags do post a suffocation risk and you can never be too careful.
Disclaimer: If you do try this, as with any activity, make sure you supervise your little one at all times. Little fingernails and teeth could puncture the bag. Mr. C was about 8 months old when we tried this for the first time. He was able to sit up well on his own and had good head control when he was on his stomach. I would not recommend this for any infant that can not sit up on their own. Plastic can pose a suffocation risk. In the end you know your child best so please offer activities and supervise accordingly. Safety always comes first.
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