All play is pretty much "sensory play" as kids use all their senses to explore their world. However, I just love creating novel experiences for the little ones to engage in. It's a joy sitting back and watching the exploration process and the immense pleasure my kids get from simple experiences that adults take for granted like putting their hands in something gooey or smelling something new. Here is a collection of my favorite Sensory Play Experiences over the past year...
Exploring New Objects
This is one of the easiest (and least messy) sensory experience to create. I love finding collections of various objects, putting them into a tray or bin and just letting the kids explore..Sensory Play with Buttons can also turn into a great lesson in sorting, counting, and other mathematical reasoning skills.
Playing with Bottle Caps and Lids that have accumulated from all those applesauce and babyfood containers is a wonderful chance for creativity. Throw some playdough into the mix and let the kids press the caps into the dough to make patterns.
Sensory Exploration for Baby can involve any group of household objects or seasonal items. Baby H had so much fun exploring these bumpy gourds!
Exploring Sense of Smell
Sniffing Spices is one of my twins' absolute favorite activity, and the nice thing for me is that it only involves a quick trip to the spice rack for me.
Adding whole cloves to playdough lets the kids use multiple senses in a single activity. It's amazing for fine-motor-skills and concentration as well.
Messy Sensory Play
It makes me sad to hear about parents who deprive their kids of certain childhood sensory experiences because they are too "messy" (unfortunately my husband would most likely fall into this category if he was in charge of the kids)..
Paint Exploration with Cars. is just one of so many different ways that my kids like to try new ways to paint. Most of the unconventional painting we do is all about the process not the end result, so it doesn't make for pretty blog pics, but we do try to get one of these paint explorations in at least once a week.
Hand Prints and Footprints are so much fun for the kiddos to make. I try to schedule this type of activity right before bath-time.
Sensory Exploration with Tapioca. is such a unique activity that you just have to try it. It's a really neat substance!
UPDATE: I was so inspired by how much my kids enjoyed early learning games that I created the La La Logic Critical Thinking Curriculum for 3-6 year olds, which includes online brain challenge games, printable worksheets, enrichment activities and more!
This post is part of my 1st Blogaversary celebration. Be sure to check out the other posts in this series:
Favorite Preschool Math Ideas
Preschool Science Experiments
Cooking With Kids: 10 Ideas