Touch is one of the most important senses for babies. Vocabularies are grown every day, in large part due to touch! Hands-on exploration helps put meaning to new vocabulary, as well as promote pinching, squeezing, and grasping skills, which lay the foundation for later writing.
Take a look around your house and search for a variety of textures. Lace, burlap, velvet, silk, wool, rubber, paper, and leather are just a few. Size the pieces to allow them to fold, pull, bend, and shake easily. Then, sit back and watch your child discover characteristics of each texture. When they look to you for interaction, share words like soft, smooth, rough, and bumpy to enhance the experience and enjoy the new textures together.
To further extend texture play, you might try putting larger textures on the floor. This enables baby to explore with more than just their hands. (Cardboard, plastic mats, shaggy rugs, and even bubble wrap can all be fun textures to crawl and walk on!)