Do you remember the the cold tickly feeling of a dipped paint brush running through your palm while you made hand prints on a paper, as a child? An activity that put so many of our senses to work. That is what is known as sensory play. Sensory play is a type of play that activates and stimulates a child’s senses. This kind of active play helps to create connections in the brain that allow for increasingly complex thoughts and tasks, and makes kids more aware of their senses and surroundings. So if your child doesn’t already have his/her favourite sensory play activities, here are some ways to get you started with these interesting projects targeting different aspects of growing and learning.
Creating a Sensory Bin
One of the first exercises that comes to mind when sensory play is in the picture are these. To create a sensory bin, simply fill a small tub or container with objects from nature such as leaves, rocks, and sand or use foods like pasta, rice, or beans that have different textures for your little one to explore. Don’t forget to add some spoons, scoops, and small toys to bury and discover. There are hundreds of themes and variations you can play around with, so go ahead and experiment!
Remember, little ones often explore with their mouths in addition to their hands so be sure to clean all items, avoid choking hazards, and supervise play.
Teaching a child about hot and cold can be made fun, with a little bit of ice and some miniature toys! To create a frozen toy activity simply freeze some miniature toys (like action figures) into ice and then let your baby manipulate the ice with their hands until the objects are free. You can also provide kid-friendly tools to chip the ice and warmer water to melt the ice.
Homemade Musical Instruments
A lot of sound-producing instruments for play can actually be made by your kids themselves! Consider helping them make maracas with dried beans and a paper cup, or a guitar from an empty tissue box and some rubber bands. Hearing different sounds while somewhat playing them can make for a fun jamming session at home.
Taste Test Challenge
To create a taste test, ask your child to close their eyes or blindfold them and offer them different fruits that they enjoy. As they taste each fruit, have them do their best to guess what they’re tasting!
After all, the human body’s five senses are the ministers of our soul!