To help babies develop and explore their sense of touch, sight and hearing
Click here to view the units in this Learning Element
This unit is for Baby Classes only. The five senses are what we all use to explore and engage with the world around us. For babies and young children it is the way they first learn about themselves and everything that surrounds them. Even in the womb, they are using their senses to take in information. It is also the main way a new baby bonds with its caregiver – through gazing, cuddling, skin to skin contact, suckling, feeding, stroking, smelling, rocking etc.
Sensory development and experience remains important as a baby grows and indeed as they become children too and the more we can provide rich sensory experiences for babies, they more receptive and advanced their senses become but also the more they learn and understand. Yet often babies have less access to sensory experiences than they used to. This may be due to being confined in prams and car seats for long periods, or less access to outdoor play, or due to concerns about health and safety.
It is because sensory play is so important to babies and young children this Learning Element appears in every baby class. It uses safe and stimulating props to provide babies with new sensory experiences and encourages parents to engage in those experiences with their child. This engagement is just important as the sensory stimulation itself. This discussion provides babies with the vocabulary and understanding they will need to begin to make sense of the sensory information they are taking in. For example as a baby explores different textures, the adult will tell them, this soft, this is rough, this is hard etc.
The units for this Element are grouped into Sound, Sight and Touch. There are a variety of units and activities under each sense. You must alternate each half between the different senses. So if you did a unit from Sound for the first half term, you would need to choose a unit from Sight next, then the following half term you would choose a unit from Touch. You would then begin the sequence again, choosing a different unit this time. As such you will cover each sense twice during the course of a year.
For more detail on the way we support the development of the senses within our classes, please see the background to each of the Senses activities given on their description pages.