Babies have a tendency to grab whatever is within their reach to satisfy their insatiable need to explore and learn more about their surroundings. They love shiny jewelry dangling from delicate ear lobes, fistfuls of fluffy dog hair, crunchy leaves, and anything with an interesting texture.
Textures are fascinating to babies, or feared by some. I believe exposing them to different textures can help them be more willing to try new ones as they get older. The easiest thing you can do is lay a new texture out on the floor or at a table while they sit in their highchair, and set some of their favorite objects on it. It can be a super fluffy blanket, corrugated cardboard, bubble wrap, a sheet of packing foam, or contact paper.
Depending on the surface you may want to secure it down with tape so they can crawl, or take their shoes off and walk on it. Contact paper feels even more interesting on the feet!
Picking up objects on different surfaces can pose new challenges for exercising their fine motor skills. A ball may be easier to grab from a sticky surface because it cannot roll away as easily if on a wood floor, but a shoelace is harder to peel up on that same surface.
Don't forget nature's textures too. Grass, sand, and snow bring even more experiences that awaken the senses and can create lasting memories. My five year old reminds me of his favorite times at and is always asking to go to the beach, I think it's because it's a texture thing!
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