Sensory play is all about encouraging ALL of the four senses through fun activities with your little one. So hearing, seeing, touching and tasting. There are many ways sensory play can help in the development of children and is something which is hugely encouraged.
Some of the main benefits include:
- Helping to develop fine motor and gross skills
- Sensory play can help and aid in the development of your child’s memory
- It can help develop your child’s language
- Helps with developing children’s social skills
- Can improve co-ordination and concentration
- Develop their imagination
- Helps with problem solving
Sensory play to me is a fun way of making memories with my children. There are so many ways you can practice sensory play with your little one. It can be as simple as wrapping cardboard boxes up, or as messy as water play and making moon sand. The list of things you can do with your children is endless. There are lots of websites that have so many creative ideas of what you can make from things you have lying round the house.
There are so many things to choose from and a million ways to do just one. So start by picking something simple and easy. First time around, I tried sensory bottles and my little girl loved them. When she got bigger she could then help me make them and had her own things she wanted to put inside.
When my daughter was a baby we did a lot of painting or filled the basin with water, added some toys and she was happy. It seemed the messier the better. As she’s gotten older it can be harder to keep her entertained. I now try to do themes to suit the things she likes.
We will do an animal pet wash where we fill one basin with mud and and the other with soapy water, or make dinosaur bones from salt dough and bury them in moon sand for her to dig up. Making an ice tower and freezing her favourite things inside always goes down well. She has to find ways to get them out. She still loves the simple things like trying to catch bubbles and sorting her shells out she has collected at the beach.
My favourite thing about sensory play is it can be whatever you want it to be. As messy or quiet as you want. A time you can be involved or getting some peace and letting the kids explore it on their own.
Sensory play is great when they are babies but I think as they get older we tend to forget that our bigger babies still absolutely love it.
I love the time I get to spend with my children doing these things. I try to at least do something once a week. Not just for all the benefits they hold but it’s time where the TV is off meaning no distractions and no thinking about house work. This way all of my attention is focused on the kids.
So have a look at everything out there and make some memories with your children. Most importantly, have lots of fun whilst doing it!
Written by our guest blogger Paris Aitkin.