A variety of textures, visuals and sounds stimulate sensory development.
Sensory development is intimately related to motor development. Babies are born into a world that stimulates their senses and to which they react. These reactions are bodily movements which create learning experiences. Sensory development in babies can be facilitated through toys that provide opportunities for them to experience sounds, visuals and textures. Young infants need to be presented with an adequate but not too great amount of sensory stimulation.
From an early age babies use touch to investigate their world; as they learn to reach they begin to run their tongue and lips over toys and then look at them. Tactile stimulation is also combined with other sensory information. Babies can perceive input from different sensory systems in a unified way; for instance, vision and touch are closely coordinated when using a shape sorter. Babies who handle shapes and also fit them through a hole are learning to solve problems through touch and sight. Infants also learn about the links between sights, sounds and feel of toys when these are demonstrated by adults. They begin to associate the sight and sound of a rhythmically shaken rattle or the nursery rhyme played by a particular toy. During the first year of life infants’ visual development is rapid and they begin to identify objects through shape, colour and texture. They also develop the ability to visually track objects. Toys give babies and young children many opportunities to enhance their sensory development.