Published: Monday 30 January 2023

Sensory items can be a great way to add more fun and interesting movements to your baby or child classes, in particular Calmer Stories, music and movement and toddler yoga sessions.

Here’s a few ideas of the types of sensory items you can incorporate into your sessions although this is by no means a comprehensive list as the possibilities are endless!

We have a complete blog post about using parachutes in your sessions which you can read here. Parachutes, for example, could be used to lie babies on. Have parents lie their babies under it and parents raise and lower parachute with a song or breathing technique. The nursery rhyme Twinkle Twinkle Little Star works really well with babies lying in small circle on floor and parents walking around with the parachute.

Space blanket
This can be used in the same way as a parachute idea above but also as a sensory activity for babies to crawl on or roll on.

Who doesn’t love playing with bubbles?! You can either choose small bubble pots with parents using them as a breathing technique, but also used simply to calm children and allow parents to observe their children watching the bubbles. The other option is a bubble machine which can be used to interact with (and calm!) the whole class.

Silk or chiffon scarves are great for engaging toddlers and can be used in a number of toddler yoga movements. You can swirl them around to represent water, grass or the breeze, or use them to pull with when rocking. They can also be brushed over faces, pulled through fingers, or blown to create a magical sensation.

Shakers/ jinglers
Use noise creating items such as shakers or jinglers (think rattles, small tambourines, etc) to get or keep attention, especially when parents are doing stretches. You can make your own using plastic bottles with sand or rice, etc.

Coloured ribbons attached to rings or alone can be great to encourage children to move their arms around. They can also be used as a prop for underwater or long grass, for example.

Treasure baskets
Treasure baskets have been used for decades by childcare professionals as a means of teaching young babies how to select, touch, taste and feel. It's a simple idea but one that seemingly works to delight and inspire little eyes, ears and mouths - enriching their experience of objects around them and helping them to gain confidence in making decisions. In our plastic world it can be nice to have some more natural items. These can be used in classes as a way of showing development or while the parents relax.

Lights and projections can be great to use at the end of the session or during a specific sensory section in your class. There are various options available and you can use them in conjunction with other sensory items such as the parachute or scarves, for example. They’re especially good when you have a theme that is perhaps set in a different environment such as under the sea or in outer space!

The use of sensory items is limited only by your imagination! The only thing to always bear in mind, of course, are any safety considerations.

If leading your own toddler yoga, music and movement or Calmer Stories classes is something you’re thinking about doing, take a look at our super flexible and comprehensive online instructor courses. You can learn at your own pace, from home, meaning you can gain your new skill (and work opportunity!) around your existing responsibilities. Head to our online learning portal to see all our fabulous online courses.

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