Parent Sensory Play Guide
6-9 Month Box

Welcome to your My Sensory Journey Play Guide for the 6-9 month box. We're thrilled about the adventure ahead, whether you've already enjoyed a box or two of resources or you're just starting the journey. In this guide, you'll find details about the resources in your box, what children can learn from exploring and investigating the toys, and how you as a parent can support your baby's learning journey using the provided toys. Additionally, we've included valuable information about a baby's development with links to useful websites for further reading on these topics.

In your box, you'll find a variety of information on up to 6-8 toys, each carefully selected to provide engaging and developmental experiences for your baby. You'll have 6 resources available to explore and enjoy.

Before delving into the resources with your baby, please take a moment to review the safety information section located at the bottom of the page. It's important to always follow these guidelines to ensure your baby's well-being.

We'd love it if you could tag us in your baby's pictures and stories as they explore the resources on social media. Please use the hashtag #sensoryboxsurprise
Your participation helps us build a community of shared experiences and joy!

*Please note that every child is unique and may not reach learning goals and milestones at the same pace. If you ever have concerns about your baby's development or health, we encourage you to reach out to your baby's GP or Health Visitor for professional advice and support.*

What is sensory play?

Sensory play is an enriching experience that engages a baby's senses in various ways. It involves stimulating their touch, using their sense of smell, exploring tastes with their mouth, focusing and observing with their vision, and perceiving sounds with their hearing while actively listening to their surroundings. Additionally, sensory play can incorporate activities that encourage a baby's movement and support the development of their balance skills. Through sensory play, babies can explore and interact with the world around them, fostering cognitive, physical, and emotional development.

How do your baby's senses work?

Taste – Taste is an intriguing aspect of a baby's sensory experience, as they react to the activation of their taste receptors when things are introduced into their mouth. Interestingly, research suggests that babies may begin to detect flavors of foods their mother consumes while they are in the womb. This early exposure to various tastes can potentially influence their preferences and responses to different flavors later in life. It's fascinating to consider how prenatal experiences can shape a baby's sensory perceptions even before they enter the world.

As your baby continues to grow and develop over the next few months, they will become more reactive to the tastes and textures they encounter, particularly as they start to enjoy the process of weaning and mealtime experiences.

Smell – Smell is another intriguing aspect of a baby's sensory experience, as they react to the activation of chemical receptors in their nose. Research indicates that a baby's sense of smell begins to develop in the first trimester of pregnancy. By around 10 weeks in the womb, babies may start to detect smells. This early development of their olfactory system allows babies to begin exploring the world of scents even before they are born. It's fascinating to consider how early sensory experiences shape a baby's perception of the world around them. Find further information on this topic by the babycentre article

Your baby will start to utilise their sense of smell to help form preferences for the foods they taste.

Sight  - Vision involves the reaction babies experience when light receptors enter their eyes and form a representation. An interesting fact is that both babies and adults cannot sneeze with their eyes open.. Read vision direct's facts about baby eyesight.

At this stage, your baby's vision will continue to develop and coordinate, while their hand-eye coordination strengthens and their depth perception improves.

Touch – Touch is the response elicited from the touch receptors in a baby's skin. An intriguing fact is that the skin is the largest organ in the human body.

Throughout the next few months, your baby is likely to recognise and distinguish between more textures through touch and exploration.

Hearing – Hearing involves the response to sound through the mechanics in a baby's inner ear. Research indicates that babies may not perceive a full range of sounds until around 6 months of age, as their brain is still developing in that area. For more information on baby hearing, consider reading the article by Joanne Lewsley babycentre. 

At this stage of development, your baby will typically work towards or have already developed the skill to identify the direction from which they hear a sound coming.

Body awareness – Body awareness involves the data that infants' brains receive from stretch receptors in their muscles and pressure receptors in their joints, enabling them to start comprehending the positioning of their bodies. According to Catherin Holecko the baby's larger muscles develop first.

Balance – Balance is stimulated by the vestibular system of the inner ear, which sends signals to the brain to help individuals understand their body's orientation in relation to gravity. Interestingly, it's worth noting that our balance tends to deteriorate with age.

Over the next few months, your baby will likely begin to master the skill of sitting up, holding their head strong, getting on all fours, and may even start to crawl.

What are the benefits of sensory play?

Research indicates that sensory play plays a crucial role in facilitating the formation of nerve connections in a baby's brain. Engaging in sensory activities supports the development of fine motor dexterity, gross motor skills, as well as essential language and communication skills. Additionally, sensory play stimulates a baby's cognitive processes, encouraging them to begin problem-solving from an early age. By fostering engagement in sensory experiences, all areas of a baby's development are motivated, which in turn can contribute to building resilience and promoting emotional well-being.

Milestones for babies 6-9 months

Milestones for babies aged 6-9 months can vary greatly as each child develops at their own pace. It's important to remember that all babies are different. If you have concerns about your baby's development, you can always seek advice from your baby's GP or Health Visitor.

Typical milestones for babies aged 6-9 months may include:

- Responding to sounds being made
- Showing curiosity towards objects out of their reach
- Sitting up unaided
- Rolling over in both directions
- Moving themselves backwards before beginning to crawl
- Bottom shuffling
- Bearing weight on their legs and beginning to bounce
- Making consonant sounds like 'mmm', 'bbb', 'ddd'
- Saying one words like 'Mama', 'Dada', 'Hiya'
- Responding to their name
- Creating sounds and movements with their body when happy
- Showing awareness of others' emotions
- Enjoying play and interactions with others

How shall I introduce the sensory resources to my baby?

Open the box with your baby, showing enthusiasm and excitement. Use a lively voice and plenty of facial expressions as you talk about the contents of the box. Encourage your baby to explore by asking questions like, "What is in our box?", "What does this feel like?", "What noises can you hear?", and "I wonder what this does?" Talking along the way helps your baby feel intrigued and encourages them to think and wonder. Allow your baby to reach out and grasp the resources inside the box (ensure any packaging is removed beforehand). Praise your baby for their exploration and curiosity. Play peek-a-boo games with the resources, engage in tickle time, and play hide-and-seek games.

Incorporate plenty of tummy time experiences to strengthen your baby's muscles. Make silly faces with your baby, blow raspberries, clap hands, dance, and sing songs. You can even make up your own songs about the objects in the box using familiar tunes or rhymes. If you've received previous boxes of resources, continue to explore and develop your baby's senses using those resources in open-ended play opportunities along with the new ones.

Remember that all the toys in the 6-9 month sensory journey box are sustainable and can be used throughout your baby's early years and beyond. Enjoy the journey of exploration and discovery with your little one!         

Stacking Cups

Stacking cups remain beneficial for encouraging fine motor skills development. Babies can grasp and release their grip while engaging with these cups. Stacking cups may also motivate babies to use both hands simultaneously as they pick them up and explore, fostering an understanding of cause and effect. These cups support babies in coordinating their movements and improving their eye tracking abilities. Additionally, babies can create sounds by banging the cups together, aiding in early shape recognition through exploration. Stacking cups can also assist in the early stages of sequencing, patterning, creative skills, and counting skills.

Here are some ways to use stacking cups with your baby:

Building Actvities: Building the stacking cups with your baby to support their hand-eye coordination, and then knock them down. This helps your baby develop a sense of control over their environment and learn about cause and effect.

Interactive Play: Sing counting songs and colour songs while exploring the cups and stacking them. This adds an educational element to playtime.

Motor Skills: Place the cups out of reach to encourage your baby to reach out and grasp them. You can do this while your baby is lying on their tummy or on all fours to encourage movement.

Hide and Seek: Play hide and seek games with the cups by hiding toys underneath them (ensure the toys are safe for your baby). This adds an element of surprise and engagement to playtime.

Get Noisy: Make noises by banging the cups together. This helps your baby explore sounds and develop their auditory senses.

Bath Time: Use the cups during bath time to teach your baby about the effects of tipping and pouring. This adds a fun and educational element to bath time.

Over the next few months, you'll notice your baby developing skills such as banging the cups, stacking them, and attempting to fit them inside each other. Stacking resources like these allow a child to play in many different ways, fostering their development and creativity. Discover our blog on the benefits of open ended play.

Push Along Toy

Push and pull along toys are beneficial for developing both fine and large motor skills in babies. These toys help strengthen your baby's grip and refine their hand and finger movements as they hold onto the toy. They also encourage your baby to crawl and move while pushing or pulling the toy, fostering spatial awareness. Additionally, these toys aid in improving balance and coordination as babies pivot and turn to maneuver the toy with their hands, arms, and bodies. They also introduce new language concepts such as positional language and enhance babies' knowledge and understanding of the world as they learn about how the toy works and moves.

Here are some ways to use the push and pull along toy with your baby:

Introduce the Toy: Show your baby how to push the toy back and forth, demonstrating the motion for them. Learning about cause and effect as they explore the toy's features and movements.

Fine Motor Skills: Encourage your baby to grip the toy and make movements with it by giving it to them to hold.

Large Motor Skills: Place the toy just out of your baby's reach to motivate them to reach out, shuffle, or crawl toward it, depending on their developmental stage.

 Tummy Time: Lay your baby on their tummy to play with the toy, which can encourage them to pivot, pull themselves up, and move around.

Cruising: Let your baby investigate the toy while standing up against furniture, providing support if needed based on their stage of development.

Play Together: Sit with your baby and roll the toy to them, allowing them to explore it as it moves toward them.

By engaging in these activities, you'll observe your baby developing their fine and gross motor skills, strengthening their balance, and learning about cause and effect as they explore the toy's features and movements.

Activity Ball

These toys are designed to be easy for babies to grasp, move, and roll around. They feature vibrant colours, various shapes, and create sounds and movement, stimulating babies' senses. Playing with these toys supports babies' hand-eye coordination, as well as both fine and gross motor skills. The smaller pieces can be manipulated from side to side, providing opportunities for fine motor practice, while squeezing the ball can help strengthen muscle development. Additionally, playing with these toys on their tummy helps develop important core muscles.

Here are some ideas on how to use the activity ball with your baby:

Introduce the Toy: Encourage your baby to explore the different objects on the ball by grasping and manipulating them with their hands and fingers.

Tactile Play: Roll the activity ball gently to your baby and encourage them to interact with it by touching and exploring its features.

Listening and Attention: Shake the ball to create sounds and capture your baby's attention. You can use the toy to play games like "ready, steady, go" to engage your baby's focus.

Stimulate vision: Sit with your baby and roll the activity ball back and forth between you. This can help develop their hand-eye coordination and tracking skills.

Language skills: Talk to your baby about the pictures, shapes, and colors on the ball as they interact with it. This helps stimulate their cognitive development and language skills.

Interactive activity: Sing songs related to the objects on the ball to make the interaction more engaging and enjoyable for your baby.

Fine Motor Skills: As your baby continues to develop, you'll notice them attempting to manipulate the objects on the ball more independently. Encourage and praise their efforts to support their growing skills.

These activities provide opportunities for sensory exploration, fine and gross motor skill development, and cognitive stimulation for your baby.

Sensory Ball

Exploring sensory tactile balls with your baby is a fantastic way to support early hand-eye coordination and motor skills development, including during tummy time sessions. As your baby holds, feels, and explores the ball in various ways, they engage their sense of touch, grasp, and language skills. Additionally, playing with the ball can help your baby understand spatial awareness and develop balance as they move around to explore it.

(The Infantino sensory ball included in your box is suitable for babies aged 6 months and older. It meets UK safety standards and is BPA-free. Please note that the colour and style of the ball may vary)

Here are some ways to use the sensory ball with your baby:

Explore Texture: Let your baby touch, squeeze, and hold the ball. Encourage them to feel its texture and observe their reactions.

Gentle Massage: Roll the ball gently on your baby's body and toes to provide a soothing massage experience.

Encourage Reaching: Place the ball within your baby's sight line to motivate them to reach out for it. As they become more stable sitting up, roll the ball towards them to encourage reaching and improve core muscle strength.

Tummy Time: During tummy time sessions, place the ball in front of your baby and encourage them to interact with it. You can roll the ball towards them, twirl it, or even gently toss it in the air for them to catch.

Play Hiding Games: Hide the ball behind objects or under a blanket and encourage your baby to find it. This can add an element of fun and intrigue to playtime with the sensory ball.

Finger Puppet Book/music books/feely books

Touch and feel books can ignite excitement and curiosity in babies. They provide an opportunity for babies to use their fine motor skills and engage their senses as they touch and explore different textures. Additionally, these books can enhance babies' visual skills as they gaze and focus on the illustrations.

Moreover, touch and feel books support babies' concentration skills as they actively engage with the sensory elements of the book. Research suggests that exposure to books enriches language development, expanding babies' vocabulary and encouraging them to vocalise words and sounds they encounter.

Furthermore, touch and feel books offer opportunities for babies to explore print, letters, and sounds, laying the foundation for literacy development. Ultimately, these books can instill a love for reading, singing, and storytelling in babies from an early age.

Here are some ways to engage with the touch and feel book:

1. Read the story with your baby, allowing them to explore the feely materials as you do so.
2. Encourage your baby to touch the textures, describe the colors, and point out objects in the book.
3. If the book features animals, discuss the sounds they make and their habitats, and sing related songs.
4. Let your baby hold the book, turn the pages, and make sounds and noises.
5. Respond to your baby's sounds by repeating them, fostering communication and interaction.
6. If your baby points to objects in the book, name them to encourage language development.
7. Use different voices and tones while reading to maintain your baby's interest and attention.   Don't worry if you don't finish the story in one sitting; your baby is still learning through exploration and engagement with the book.

Explore our blog on exploring books together for further reading.



A rainmaker is an interactive tool that engages babies with its sounds and physical effects. It supports the development of music sensory motor skills and provides visual stimulation as babies observe its effects. By shaking, listening, and experiencing the rainmaker, babies can explore the sounds they can create. This encourages them to be creative and think about how they can manipulate the instrument to produce different sounds. The musical sounds generated by the rainmaker further enhance babies' creativity and cognitive development. To delve deeper into the advantages of music play for infants, explore Mary Grace Taylor's article.

Here's how you can use the rainmaker with your baby:

Introduce the Toy: Demonstrate shaking and turning the rainmaker to create sounds together.

Explore sounds: Discuss the different sounds it produces.

Sound Games: Create sounds and then ask your baby if they can copy you. Repeat sounds that your baby makes.

Motor skills: Place it out of reach to encourage reaching during sitting or tummy time. Gently roll the rainmaker for your baby to observe.

Get Active: Incorporate singing, music, dancing, and movement with the rainmaker. Notice how your baby reacts and moves to the sounds.

A Baby's Development

A Baby's Brain

Cognitive development involves a baby's ability to understand, think, and solve problems. During the early stages of life, it's crucial to support brain development through engaging activities like sensory play. Babies at this stage may begin to notice object sizes, attempt to pick up small objects with their fingers and larger ones with both hands, and understand the concept of objects being near or far. They may also start to recognize how to interact with certain objects, such as pushing buttons or stacking cups, albeit not always correctly. Babies may intentionally drop objects and search for them, demonstrating object permanence. Additionally, they might experiment with making marks or solving simple problems, like moving a toy along. The resources in the sensory box are designed to promote and enhance these cognitive skills in your baby.


A Baby's Vision

Studies indicate that babies at this developmental stage start to exhibit depth perception, enabling them to reach for objects that are farther away and become more aware of their surroundings. Your baby will increasingly spend extended periods observing objects, particularly smaller ones. They will demonstrate improved ability to focus while dropping and retrieving objects. Additionally, your baby is likely to develop more nuanced colour vision, showing interest in exploring various hues in their environment. You may observe enhanced focusing abilities as they engage with books.

A Baby's Language

Over the next three months, your baby is likely to become more vocal, engaging in various sounds and repetitions they hear. They may respond to familiar words like "mama," "dada," "hello," and "goodbye" by waving. Beginning to utter words such as "mama," "dada," and "hiya" is also common during this period. They may demonstrate recognition by looking at you when you call their name. Your baby will seek attention through actions like blowing raspberries, clapping, making sounds, and waving. Regular communication with your baby is crucial for their language development, as research suggests. When your baby shows interest in an object, it's beneficial to name and describe it in simple terms, laying the groundwork for language acquisition. This practice aligns well with the sensory resources planned for your 6-9 month box. Singing songs and incorporating gestures during playtime can further enhance your baby's language learning and communication skills.

A Baby's Physical Development

During this stage, your baby may achieve mastery in sitting independently. Consistent practice is crucial to strengthen their core muscles for this milestone. Once sitting independently is accomplished, the next challenge will be learning to transition in and out of the sitting position. Continuing with regular tummy time sessions is essential as it encourages your baby to pivot, lift their head and shoulders, and even attempt backward movements or getting on all fours. Some babies may begin rocking back and forth or even crawl towards the end of this developmental phase. If your baby shows reluctance towards tummy time, ensure to engage them when they are alert and awake. You may notice your baby pulling themselves up onto furniture or enjoying support to stand while holding onto furniture. These milestones are significant steps towards eventual walking. Discover our blog on motor skills for further reading.

Your baby may find joy in a game of collecting resources from a designated space or box. This activity not only excites them but also nurtures their curiosity, prompting them to contemplate their surroundings. It stimulates the use of both fine and large motor skills as they reach out to grasp objects and manipulate them. Demonstrating how various objects work by moving them in different ways—such as back and forth, stacking, knocking down, spinning, rolling, and shaking—further engages their attention and facilitates their learning process. By around 9 months of age, they may begin repeating some of these actions themselves. The resources provided in the My Sensory Journey box are designed to promote fine motor skills by encouraging manipulation of objects to produce effects, which ultimately supports the development of mark-making (writing) skills. Additionally, they facilitate the refinement of gross motor skills, aiding in activities such as sitting, crawling, pulling themselves up, and eventually walking and other forms of movement.

Our Top Tips

Make lots of communication. Imitate their sounds, words, facial expressions and actions

Lots of singing, action songs & dancing

Play & explore when they are alert and relaxed

Play lots of peek a boo games

Have lots of tummy time experiences

Practice sitting up

And finally give your baby lots of praise!

Safety Guidelines

On Delivery

Inspect all items upon delivery and remove any packaging and labels before allowing a child to explore them.

Check for Damage

Thoroughly inspect all items before each use and discard them at the first signs of wear and tear.


Resources and toys from The Sensory Box Surprise should only be used for sensory purposes under adult supervision. Never leave a baby unattended with these resources.

Sensory Ribbon Ring

If you have a sensory ribbon ring in your box, please note that they are not teething rings or baby toys. They are intended for use by adults only, and caution should be taken to avoid contact with your baby's eyes. Ensure that the ribbons are securely fastened and tighten them where necessary. If the ribbons begin to fray, discard the item.


If you have a patterned blanket or tag blanket, do not leave them covering your baby's face.


Babies will naturally explore objects by putting them in their mouth. It's essential to monitor your child when they mouth the resources in this box. If you allow your baby to put the objects in their mouth, it is your responsibility to supervise them closely.

Correct Ages

All our subscription boxes include sensory resources and toys appropriate for the specific age range of the individual box purchased. For this box, there are resources designed for babies aged 6-9 months..

Safety Standards

All the products included in our box meet the relevant safety testing standards in the UK.

Tummy Time

Tummy time experiences should always be supervised, and you should never leave your baby unattended while they are on their tummy.

More Activity Ideas & Resources for 6-9 Months Development

Trays with sensory resources

Set up trays or containers either on the floor or attached to your baby's high chair. Fill them with various sensory materials such as cornflour and water, soft spaghetti, flour, crunchy cornflakes, paint, or foam. If trays aren't available, tubs can serve the same purpose. Encourage your baby to explore these textures using their hands and feet, allowing them to create trails and begin to understand the concept of mark-making. Describe the textures and sounds they encounter—whether something feels cold, wet, dry, or makes crunchy sounds. You can also provide utensils like brushes, sponges, and objects for tipping and pouring, helping your baby practice their grasp in preparation for mark-making activities. It's crucial to never leave your baby unattended during these sensory sessions. Depending on their stage of development, you may need to hold and support them. Ensure that all materials used are safe for babies, as they may attempt to put objects in their mouths as part of their learning process. Read for more information, ideas and the benefits.

Smelly tubs

Purchase small tubs with holes in them, ideal for curious minds and noses. Fill these tubs with various materials that offer different smells for your baby to explore. Engage with your baby by discussing the smells and fragrances they encounter. You can also explore different scents while outdoors or in the garden. It's important to ensure that all resources used are safe for babies, and that lids cannot be removed or accidentally ingested. Never leave your baby unattended with these tubs to prevent any potential hazards.

Making sounds

Engage your baby with music and songs by utilising everyday items like pots and pans, and wooden spoons to create sounds. Incorporate actions into the songs you sing to make them interactive and engaging. Encourage your baby to move their body to the rhythm of the music by demonstrating your own enthusiasm and moves. Additionally, feel free to invent your own songs, making the experience personalised and fun for both you and your baby. Discover our blog on the benefits of singing with babies.

Heuristic baskets

Offer your baby a variety of natural resources to explore, such as pine cones, leaves, chunky bead necklaces, bangles, keys, wooden spoons, bells, metal bowls, and other items. Consider rotating these resources weekly to keep the exploration fresh and engaging. Observe your baby as they interact with the basket of items, discovering how things feel, sound, and function. This hands-on experience encourages sensory exploration and stimulates curiosity and learning. Read this article for further suggestions on creating treasure baskets. You would need to ensure that all resources are safe for your baby to explore and never leave them to play unattended with the basket.

Building & stacking

Utilise safe household resources to build towers and encourage creativity with your baby. They may attempt to build the towers themselves and will certainly enjoy knocking them down - a favorite activity for many babies. Provide a tub or box filled with resources for your baby to explore, find, and empty. This activity not only allows them to discover cause and effect but also helps them grasp concepts like shape, size, and measurement. It's a fun and educational way for babies to engage with their environment and develop various skills. We sell a variety of toys to encourage stacking and stacking in our shop.

Sensory bottles and bags

Create your own sensory bottles using transparent containers. Fill them with water and a variety of exciting items to entertain and support your baby's vision. Add glitter and colourful objects to watch them move around inside the bottles. Experiment with watercolours or food colouring to change the water's colour for different effects. You can also include pasta or rice to create different sounds for investigation. Show your baby how to manipulate the bottles to create these effects. During tummy time, place the bottles in front of your baby to engage their senses. Ensure that the lids on the bottles are securely tightened to prevent any leaks, especially if your baby mouths them. Similarly, use sealable bags for "feely bags," incorporating materials like cornflour and water, crunchy items like cornflakes, paint, water, and various resources, ensuring all materials are safe for babies. Never leave your baby unattended while exploring these sensory materials.

Books & Puppets

Set up a designated area with a box or create a cozy corner featuring a selection of books and puppets. Sit with your baby, or if they're mobile, they may crawl over depending on their developmental stage. Explore the books together, allowing your baby to investigate independently under your supervision. Introduce your baby to the puppets and demonstrate how to use them. Use different voices, create stories or songs with the puppet, and engage in games like peek-a-boo and tickling. This time together can be a wonderful and relaxing opportunity to interact with your baby. Additionally, consider creating your own puppets to add a personal touch to the experience. We sell a range of puppets and books.

Mirror Play

Engaging in mirror play with your baby is an excellent way to interact and help them learn about facial expressions and features, as well as become aware of themselves. You can play imitation games, make funny faces, and talk about your facial features. For example, you can ask, "Where is your nose?" and point to your baby's nose. If you received our 3-6 month box, you may already have a mirror provided, or you can use any mirror in the house to facilitate this activity. Mirror play not only encourages bonding and interaction but also promotes self-awareness and cognitive development in your baby.

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Sasha Miller- Baby Center. David Blabey- Vision Direct. Catherine Holecko- Very Well Family. Hugga Mind - Infant Brain stimulation. Joanne Lewsley - Baby Center. Dr Sears. BBC - Child Development. Lullaby Trust. EYFS Development Matters. Cognitive Neuroscience society. Cummins, J.- (2000)Language, power & Pedagogy. Dahlberg, G, Moss, P & Pence, A - Beyond Quality in Early Childhood Education. Bowlby,J. - Attachment theory. Mary D. Sheridan - From Birth to Five Years. Dr.Saul McLeod - Object performance. Mary Grace Taylor - Music Play for Babies and Toddlers. Emma's Diary - Messy Play Ideas. Early Years Alliance, Nicole Weinstein - How To Make A Treasure Basket & Introduce Heuristic Play.