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CDA Competency Standard: II.4.3a
Stages of Cognitive Development in Infants
(1 hour / .1 CEU)
45 Hours Infant and Toddler Focus In-Service Training
(45 hours / 4.5 CEU)
Sensory Play for Young Infants
We know that young children are oriented toward sensory experiences. From birth, children have learned about the world by touching, tasting, smelling, seeing, and hearing. Sensory play also contributes in crucial ways to brain development. Think of it as “food for the brain.” Stimulating the senses sends signals to children’s brains that help to strengthen neural pathways important for all types of learning.
- Creative Arts: Individual, birth to 9 months
- Goals: To increase creative development; to increase sensory motor skills
- Materials: Mat made of various materials (satin, cotton, fake fur, velvet, terry cloth, Lycra, knit fabric, suede, leather-like, and so on) (commercially available)
- To Make: Sew together squares of various materials. Nine squares of 12 inches each makes a good size mat (36′′ × 36′′)
- Procedure: Place the infant prone on mat. If it is warm enough, have her in diapers. Take a corner of the mat and stroke her hand with it and talk with her about the texture of the material and how it feels. Talk about how the squares are different in color, pattern, and texture. Discuss how they look and feel. Place her in different positions on the mat so it is easier to reach other textures. As infants become older, they can use 6-inch fabric squares to explore by themselves.
- Assessment: The infant will explore the mat and respond to the different textures.
- Integration: Some infants might not like some of the textures, so go gently, using smooth, soft textures first. Help the infant explore the fabrics and gently rub one piece of fabric on her arm and talk about how it looks and feels.