Happy Saturday loves!
I wanted to share a little bit about the importance of sensory play. When our children are tiny little babies they explore the world only through their 5 senses; feeling, smelling, hearing, seeing and tasting. But as they grow these senses need to be practiced as well. They feel a great sense of independence by exploring their world on their own. Hands on activities such as diy sensory bins are our favorite! Belen can sit and play with these sensory bins for hours at a time, adding and taking out as she pleases.
I have gathered a few benefits of sensory play:
• Helps calm a frustrated/ anxious child
• Supports language development, motor skills, problem solving skills and social interaction
• Helps aid and enhance memory function
• Children learn sensory attributes (Is it hot or cold?, Is it smooth or rough?)
So how can you incorporate sensory play?
• Messy painting (hand or finger painting, using vegetables, etc)
• Sensory bins
• Sensory bottles and bags
• Simple outdoor play (hands on with dirt)
Lately we have been obsessed with Sensory bins. I grab a few bags of uncooked rice and food coloring, dye it and let it dry. Throw a few things in there depending on our learning day (letters, numbers, bugs, rocks, fake bones). Then I let Belen explore. While she explores I ask questions such as;
Can you tell me what you feel?
What colors do you see?
What are you digging for?
What did you find?
How many can you find?
If it’s digging for the Alphabet, I lay out a few bowls so she can place the letters in order.
I have also used oats, beans and alphabet soup.
Belen loves feeling the difference between the “pokey” rice and the “cool letters” from the alphabet soup.
Ps. Valentines is coming up and a fun idea would be filling a little tub of pink/red rice or anything of your choice adding hearts and other cute valentine decorations. Explaining the holiday while practicing their senses.
I hope you get to try one of these simple, cheap ideas to encourage sensory play in your child!