Discovering Sensory Play at Home with Everyday Objects

Discovering Sensory Play at Home with Everyday Objects

Discovering Sensory Play at Home with Everyday Objects

In todays times, children resort to screens for easy learning. However, it is important to remember that children learn best from their environment through their senses - touch, taste, smell, sight, and hearing. We hope some of these ideas will inspire you to create a fun learning environment at home for your children using simple items you likely already have at home!

 

Why is sensory play important?

Sensory play is more than just fun for children - it is a crucial part of their development. It helps build neural connections that are the foundation for a wide range of skills, including but not limited to:

- Learning how to process sensory information
- Developing both fine and gross motor skills
- Enhancing language and communication
- Fostering social interactions and emotional regulation
- Encouraging problem-solving and scientific thinking

 

Simple Ideas for Sensory Play at Home

Flour Drawing: Spread flour on a tray to create a tactile drawing board. Children can use their fingers to draw shapes, letters, or just explore the texture.

Colored Rice: By mixing a little food coloring and vinegar with rice, you create a fun and visually stimulating play material that children can pour, sort, and scoop.

Macaroni: Using macaroni, children can practice threading, creating necklaces or other decorations that enhance fine motor skills. Dying the macaroni different colors adds an extra layer of visual and tactile exploration.

Cereal: With its various shapes, sizes, and textures, cereal can be used in sensory bins or as a tool for creating art. It is especially a good option for younger children who might be tempted to put materials in their mouths as it is safe to eat! Sorting cereals by color or shape provides a fun and educational activity that engages both sensory and cognitive skills.

Jell-O: The unique texture of jell-o makes it great for sensory exploration! Children can play with it directly or you can hide small toys inside for a treasure hunt.

Center Citrus Trails: Creating scented trails with citrus peels stimulates the sense of smell, linking it to spatial understanding and memory. You can even try this with a blindfold! Supervised, of course.

Homemade Playdough: With just a few kitchen ingredients, you can make play dough that can be customized with different colors, scents, or added textures like glitter or beads.

Baking Soda Experiments: Mixing baking soda with vinegar creates and exciting fizzing reaction, offering a visual and auditory experience - plus a basic chemistry lesson!

Soap Carving: Bars of soap can be used for fine motor skill practice through carving, and the pieces can be used for sensory bins or storytelling.

Muffin Tin Textures: Fill the compartments of a muffin tin with materials of various textures for a simple way to explore differences in feel.

Outdoor Play: Activities like digging in sand or soil, playing with water, and exploring natural textures (leaves, sticks, stones) allows children to learn the world around them. It allows children to develop critical thinking, creativity, and a deeper appreciation for the world around them.

The Value of Sensory Play

Even though this all seems like a mess waiting to happen, sensory play is absolutely beneficial! It turns everyday moments into opportunities for development and discovery. By looking at household items through a lens of play, parents and teachers can help children build their understanding of the world, encourage creativity, and make lasting memories.

You dont need much to create a sensory-rich environment at home. Its all about making the most of what you have, thinking creatively, and presenting your children with opportunities to explore their senses. It is through simple activities such as these that children learn about their world and begin to develop their own love for discovery and learning. While your children are young, HAVE FUN! Make the messes - they can always be cleaned up.

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