Baby Sensory Play: Exploring Outdoors

In this next post in the series of simple ideas for sensory play activities with young babies, we took our exploring outside to observe the wonder of the natural environment!

As already discussed in the bubble blowing sensory play post, activities for babies don’t need to be complex or overly-planned. After all, everything is a first experience for a baby! At this stage, when they are processing so much new information about the world, people and objects around them, they interpret everything through sensory inputs.

For  this simple activity we took a rug outside and, together, laid down underneath some trees. I lay next to her and looked up and around to get a sense of her vantage point. How amazing to see things from a different perspective!

The light made some beautfiul patterns through the leaves and branches of the trees around us, and nearby bushes and leaves sayed in the wind. These also made a lovely, calm sound and the whole setting was perfect for quiet observation together. Big sisters played around us while we lay there, and periodically brought over flowers, pine cones and leaves that they had found which they really wanted to share with baby Bean!

We are on holiday now so these sights and sounds are different to those we would find back home in the garden or park in our big city. But even at home in the garden, the first experience of toes and fingers in the soft grass are not to be overlooked!

How about feeling the damp sand at the beach or sand pit, trailing little fingers in water or over smooth pebbles, deliberately standing in the wind, going out at night to see how dark it is and look at the stars together! All lead to a wonderful enriching for little babies and are so vaulable as a way to learn together about the world we live in.

What new experiences have you discovered with your little one recently?
Bean: 5 months
EYFS Learning Links: (birth-11 months)
  • sensory: investigate and discover the world using all of the senses, as appropriate
  • phse: respond to differences in their environment e.g. showing interest or excitement
  • maths: develop an awareness of shape, form and texture as they encounter people and things in their environment
  • physical: use movement and senses to focus on, reach for and handle objects, use movement and sensory exploration to link up with their immediate environment, reach out for and touch objects
  • knowledge and understanding: anticipate repeated sounds, sights and actions


  1. Bex says

    Brilliant post. It’s so easy to get caught up in all the exciting things you can do with your children and forget the simple things. A walk down Grandma and Grandads garden today was just as exciting as all the water play for my ten month old daughter….. Something I need to remember!