4 tips for winning sensory play
1. KEEP IT SIMPLE!
period of time!
- For a baby this could be simply displaying lights during tummy time or scrunching paper so they can hear the crinkle.
- For a toddler this could be exploring light & reflections with a touch or finger painting and colour mixing.
- For a preschooler this could be using a sensory base and setting up a small world for them to explore.
My go to at all ages has been using a sensor base to explore and discover!
Think jelly, dried pasta, coloured rice or anything else you have in the pantry!
Just ensure anything you use with little’s that are still mouthing is taste safe! The Play Recipes Deck has so many great options!
2. GO WITH THE FLOW
I think this point stands for at play with kids but is especially key for sensory play! We often spend time setting up these particular activities that it can be hard to sit back and watch our kids grab anything but the original items we set up. I know from personal experience that cars seem to get involved in pretty much every activity I set up for my son regardless of what it is. Following your kids interests and allowing them to add things and engage in a way that comes naturally to them will always lead to a longer and more beneficial play!
3. PICK YOUR TIMING!
I find that if I introduce a sensory play at the wrong time of day it can be too overwhelming and he won’t have any interest in engaging with the activity. However if I time it for about 30 minutes after his nap, giving him enough time to wake up and have a snack it is always more of a success! Obviously this timing will be different for everyone but I find that well rested and full always lands best for us!
4. CLEAN UP TOGETHER!
Oh the dreaded clean up! I find this is the number one reason people shy away from sensory play!
Trust me I get it, vacuuming rice out of my floor boards definitely isn’t my favourite hobby BUT it's something I will do because I know how much value sensory play holds! A way I have made this part easier is to get my son to assist with the clean up in an age apportion way. When he was younger this could have been simply putting the animals we used back in a storage basket to now at 2.5 helping me vacuum or sweep up any mess! This not only makes your life easier but also teaches valuable life skills at the same time!
Another great tip is to take it outside, obviously this is dependant on the weather but mess always seems a lot more minimal when outside! Especially if using water! I think the main thing to remember is to keep it simple and have fun!
MY FAVOURITE SENSORY SET UPS:
• Diggers in the dirt - Make some Cloud dough and throw in your kids favourite cars & trucks.
• Rainbow Rice - add some cups/ spoons /scoops
• Ocean Discovery - add a few drop of blue food colouring and corn flower to water & add some ocean animals to find in the murky water!
Have fun playing!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Abby is a mum of two from England but lives in Perth Western Australia with her partner Michael and two sons, Lachlan & Arthur. She loves all things play and spending time exploring in nature with her family.
Learning through play has become a passion since having her first child and she is constantly researching activities Instagram and Pinterest.
When she isn’t playing with her boys she enjoys getting behind the camera and being creative.
Feel free to follow along their days at play over on Instagram!