Your 12-month-old’s sensory world

Wow, parents, a one-year-old! Congratulations! Is your 12-month-old starting to become more & more ‘hands-on’ about the world around them? It’s an exciting time for sensory development, & there are so many fun things to look forward to!

First, let’s talk about what’s going on in your 12-month-old’s sensory world. At this age, your child is starting to explore & learn about their surroundings through their senses. They are learning to use their senses of sight, hearing, touch, taste, & smell to understand & interact with the world around them.

For example, your child may be more interested in looking at & exploring different objects – their vision has sharpened & they can see clearly across a room & tell the difference between new faces & people they’ve met before. They may also be more attuned to sounds & may turn their head or look towards the source of a sound – your little one’s ability to distinguish sounds is also sharpening. They have learnt that people make their own sounds & that items – for example, a hoover or washing machine, also make their own specific sounds. They may also start to show a preference for certain textures or tastes, & may start to become more interested in touching & exploring different materials.

One way to support your child’s sensory development is through sensory play. Sensory play is any activity that engages your child’s senses & helps them explore & learn about their environment. This can include activities like playing with sand, water, or playdough, or exploring different textures & materials. Sensory play is important for your child’s development because it helps them learn about the world around them & also helps with their fine motor skills & hand-eye coordination. For more activity ideas to try at home, see our article Montessori activities to try at home.

There are so many exciting new developments to look forward to as your little one grows & develops. At this age, your child may start to become more coordinated & may start to crawl, stand, or even take their first steps! They may also start to use more words & may even be able to say their first words.

The principles of Montessori education can also provide some helpful guidance for supporting your child’s sensory development. Montessori classrooms are known for their abundance of materials that allow children to explore & discover at their own pace. To learn more about your child’s play schemas, take a look at our article What’s the deal with play schemas?

Overall, it’s an exciting time for your 12-month-old’s sensory development. Sensory play is an important part of your child’s learning & development, & there are so many fun & exciting new developments to look forward to as they continue to grow & learn. Over the next year your baby will establish more complex associations in their brain – they are on the verge of becoming a thinker who plans & makes decisions. Happy playing!

For some yummy goodness check out Solid Starts’ Smash Cake recipes for baby’s first birthday here!

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