The DoSeum is San Antonio's only museum just for children where kids learn by doing, creating and tinkering, instead of just looking and listening.
Every caregiver and educator understands that the first few years of a child’s life is a critical time for cognitive development. During this period, babies gain an understanding of the world around them and how to interact with others and with their environment. One of the best ways to stimulate healthy cognitive growth is through sensory play, which is when children engage in play using touch, sight, sound smell, and taste. For babies, sensory play can “be therapeutic, improve motor skills, raise awareness of how the world works, and contribute to language acquisition” (PBS).
The DoSeum has developed weekly programs designed to engage babies in sensory play in an engaging environment. Baby Babble shows children from 3 to 18 months old how to sing, dance, and play to communicate with the outside world. Tinker Time allows 3 to 5 year olds to learn about the process of hands-on designing, constructing, and building. Little Makers helps 18 to 36 month children describe, observe, and investigate common objects and interact with their environments in a safe, constructive way. All weekly programs build focus on sensory play that increases and nourishes a child’s cognitive development.
Since our weekly programs don’t begin again for a few weeks, here is a tutorial on a DIY project for you to help your baby engage in sensory investigation. We learned about it from Plain Vanilla Mom. Enjoy:
Ribbons, pom-poms, colorful cereal, scissors, piece of paper, phillips-head screwdriver, and an empty plastic bottle with the cap still attached.
1. Use screwdriver to make small hole in bottle cap. Set both aside.
2. Create a funnel out of the paper and insert smaller end into bottle.
3. Put cereal through the funnel so it falls into bottle. Fill up bottle 1/4 of the way.
4. Set funnel aside.Using fingers, put pom poms into bottle.
5. Cut ribbon so each string is one inch long.
6. Secure the bottle cap back on the bottle. Carefully insert each string into the hole of the bottle cap. Thread through until 1/4 of the string is in the bottle and 3/4 is outside. Secure with piece of tape.
7. Shake up so the cereal and pom pom are spread evenly.
8. Give to baby and enjoy!