Infants and toddlers learn about the world around them through their senses. Hearing. Sight. Smell. Taste. Touch. They prefer playing with toys that stimulate their senses. Colorbits Sensory Ball is one such toy. Soft, rounded spikes provide gentle tactile stimulation. In addition, each clear ball contains color bits in bright, rainbow colors that invite investigation. For added visual interest, what’s inside each ball is different. One contains sticks; the other tiny balls. Colors vary from ball to ball too. When baby shakes one, the bits bounce, producing sound. Sights and sounds change as baby experiments. First shaking the ball slowly, then fast. At the same time, the feel of the ball changes. The moving bits seem to be tickling the skin. Babies delight in the way the ball feels against their skin. Plus its size and soft inflation make it easy for small hands to grasp. And roll. Which encourages crawlers to chase after it. Such physical activity develops both fine and gross motor skills. Measures 3″ diameter. Colorbits Sensory Ball comes fully inflated. Re-inflate, as needed, through a built-in pin receptacle.
Touch-an essential human need
Babies learn through their senses. Touch teaches them to recognize tactile differences. Learning to distinguish one texture from another is an acquired skill. Nevertheless, it is not the key lesson babies learn through touch. Learning to trust, however, is. For this reason babies like being held. More importantly they also need to be held.
That is because touch is an essential human need. So crucial that without consistent positive touch, babies fail to thrive. Severely premature babies, unable to breathe on their own at birth, spend months in Neonatal Intensive Care Units. Too fragile to leave their specialized incubators, these babies can only be held when stabilized. Often weeks after birth.
That’s when parents and babies make up for lost time with skin-on-skin contact. Such direct touching is critical to the health and well-being of the preemie. Moreover research shows that the positive sensory stimulation skin-on-skin contact provides enhances brain development. Not only does it support breastfeeding success, but it also insures emotional and social development.
Observe how babies respond to being picked up. They settle into a comfortable position and snuggle close. Similarly they like loving strokes and gentle massages. Touch helps babies form attachments to their caregivers. At the same time, babies are also quick to let us know when they’ve had enough. By paying attention to their cues, we earn their trust. Simply stated, babies develop trust in those who consistently respond positively to their needs. Without this initial trust, humans have a hard time learning to trust others. Humans experience a sense of emotional wellbeing and develop healthy social relationships only when they can trust.