You only need to be a mom for about five minutes to realize that babies love to explore with their highly-tuned senses. Not only is sensory play critical for their developing brains but it can be deeply rewarding for you to press pause and watch quietly as your baby explores new textures, learns about cause and effect and continues to figure out what makes the world-go-round. Click through for some easy DIY ideas to stimulate your baby’s senses and engage her need for exploration with household items you may already have.

The Sweet Sounds of Velcro

What is more satisfying – or fascinating – than the sound of Velcro coming apart? The wise folks at Mama Pappa Bubba discovered their little one’s endless fascination with Velcro and have tons of creative ways to use it to engage your curious toddler. Velcro can be used on its own, as kids learn about how it sticks together and comes apart, or with lots of different materials (think shoelaces, stuffed animals, socks) as they figure out what sticks and what doesn’t. This is a no-mess activity, too, making it an especially great choice for days when you just can’t clean up another spill.

Photo: Mama Pappa Bubba

How do you make fun sensory play for baby? Let us know in the Comments!

— Elizabeth Carr & Gabby Cullen