Touch and Feel Boxes: Sensory Exploration for Newborns

touch and feel boxes

As parents, we are always on the lookout for ways to engage our newborns’ senses and promote their development. One activity that has gained popularity in recent years is the use of touch and feel boxes. These boxes provide a unique sensory experience for babies, allowing them to explore different textures and materials through touch.

Imagine this: You are sitting on the floor with your newborn, surrounded by a collection of objects carefully selected to stimulate their senses. On one side, there are soft fabrics that invite gentle caresses. On the other, rough surfaces and tiny pebbles that offer a contrasting sensation. Your little one reaches out, curiosity shining in their eyes, as they explore each object with their tiny hands.

With each touch, the world becomes a little more familiar to your baby. They learn to differentiate between soft and rough, smooth and bumpy. They discover the joy of exploring the world around them through their sense of touch. And all the while, their little minds are absorbing information, making connections, and developing their sensory exploration skills.

That’s the magic of touch and feel boxes. They provide a safe and stimulating environment for newborns to engage their senses and refine their sense of touch. From soft fabrics to bumpy textures, each object offers a new sensation to be discovered. And as parents, we can’t help but marvel at the wonder in our baby’s eyes as they experience these sensory delights.

Creating a Touch and Feel Box: Materials and Preparation

When it comes to creating a touch and feel box, there are several factors to consider, including the materials and preparation involved. The choice of materials and how you prepare the box can significantly impact the sensory experience for newborns. Let’s explore the key steps and considerations for crafting a captivating touch and feel box.

Selecting the Perfect Box

First and foremost, you’ll need to choose a sturdy and safe box to house the sensory treasures. Consider options like a wooden box, a plastic container, or a fabric-covered container. Ensure that the box is free from any sharp edges or loose parts that could potentially pose a safety hazard. By selecting a well-built box, you can guarantee a durable and long-lasting touch and feel experience for your little one.

Diverse Filling Materials

The success of a touch and feel box lies in the variety of textures it offers. Infants’ senses thrive when exposed to different tactile sensations. Therefore, it’s crucial to fill your box with an assortment of materials that engage various sensory receptors. Here are some examples of materials you can include:

  • Soft materials like velvet and cotton balls
  • Rough materials like sandpaper and textured cardboard
  • Smooth materials like silk and satin
  • Fuzzy materials like faux fur or fleece
  • Cool materials like polished stones or metal

The diversity of materials will provide a rich sensory experience for your newborn, enhancing their exploration and tactile perception abilities.

Allergen-Free Considerations

It’s essential to consider potential allergens when choosing your materials. Newborns have delicate immune systems, so opting for hypoallergenic or allergen-free materials is a wise choice. Avoid using substances like latex, feathers, or strong fragrances. Opt for natural and non-toxic materials that prioritize your baby’s safety and well-being.

Secure for Safe Play

Ensure that your touch and feel box is securely closed to prevent any accidental spillage or injury during playtime. Depending on the type of box you’ve chosen, you may need to use latches, screws, or adhesive to secure it properly. This precaution will provide peace of mind while your newborn explores and interacts with the sensory objects.

By carefully considering the materials and undertaking the necessary preparation, you can create a captivating touch and feel box that engages your newborn’s senses and facilitates their sensory exploration journey.

Materials Textures
Velvet Soft
Cotton balls Soft
Sandpaper Rough
Textured cardboard Rough
Silk Smooth
Satin Smooth
Faux fur or fleece Fuzzy
Polished stones or metal Cool

How to Play with a Touch and Feel Box

Playing with a touch and feel box is a simple and engaging activity for newborns. It provides an opportunity for sensory exploration and helps stimulate their development. Here are some ideas on how to make the most out of this interactive playtime experience:

  1. Start by letting the baby explore the touch and feel box. Allow them to feel around and pull out the objects to discover what they are.
  2. Once the baby has explored the objects, put them all back in the box and ask the baby to find a specific object and pull it out. This activity helps develop their focus and concentration skills.
  3. Encourage verbal identification by asking the baby questions like “What do you feel?” and having them identify the object without seeing it. This promotes cognitive development and language skills.
  4. It’s important to select objects that the baby knows by name. This helps reinforce their vocabulary and word recognition abilities.
  5. Keep the number of objects in the touch and feel box between 3-5 at a time. This allows the baby to fully engage with each object and prevents overwhelming stimulation.

By engaging in these play activities with a touch and feel box, babies can develop their sensory exploration skills, concentration, and cognitive abilities. It’s a wonderful way for them to learn about different textures, shapes, and objects in their environment.


Touch and feel boxes are a wonderful sensory play activity for newborns that can greatly contribute to their development and exploration. Engaging in sensory exploration through touch allows newborns to refine their sense of touch and learn about different textures and materials. By providing a variety of materials and objects in a touch and feel box, babies can engage their senses and develop their concentration skills. Whether you choose to create a homemade box or opt for a commercially available one, the key is to offer a diverse range of materials for babies to explore.

Overall, touch and feel boxes offer a fun and educational sensory experience for newborns, helping them to grow and develop. Sensory play is crucial for newborns as it allows them to make sense of the world around them and supports their early cognitive, motor, and social-emotional development. As babies interact with the objects in the touch and feel box, they are actively engaging their senses and building important neural connections that lay the foundation for future learning.

As parents, caregivers, or educators, embracing sensory play and incorporating touch and feel boxes into a newborn’s playtime can have long-lasting benefits. By providing opportunities for sensory exploration, we can help newborns develop their senses, promote their curiosity and imagination, and foster a lifelong love for learning. In addition to their developmental value, touch and feel boxes can also be a source of joy and bonding between caregivers and babies, creating precious moments of discovery and connection.


What is a touch and feel box?

A touch and feel box is a sensory exploration tool for newborns. It consists of a box filled with various objects that babies can touch and feel to stimulate their senses and encourage their development.

How do touch and feel boxes stimulate newborns’ development?

Touch and feel boxes stimulate newborns’ development by engaging their sense of touch. Through exploring different textures and materials, babies can learn about their environment and refine their tactile skills.

How do I create a touch and feel box?

To create a touch and feel box, you’ll need a sturdy and safe box, a variety of filling materials with different textures, and proper securing to prevent spillage or injury. Choose materials such as soft fabrics, rough surfaces, and smooth stones to offer diverse sensory experiences.

What are some play ideas for using a touch and feel box?

You can let the baby explore the touch and feel box, pull out objects, and identify them. You can also ask the baby to find specific objects or encourage verbal identification. It’s important to use objects the baby knows by name and limit the number of objects to 3-5 at a time.

What are the benefits of using touch and feel boxes for newborns?

Using touch and feel boxes for newborns provides a fun and educational sensory experience. It helps stimulate their sensory exploration skills, develop concentration, and promote learning about different textures and materials.

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