There are endless possibilities for sensory play, and children of all ages can enjoy them. Sensory play support cognitive growth, language development, fine and gross motor skills, and problem solving skills. Most activities can be made with things around the house and pantry. Here are 5 ideas you could easily implement for kids to explore, and parents get 20 minutes to get some work done, win win!
Shaving Cream Cake Decorating
Materials: -Box (I wrapped the box in white butcher block paper first) -shaving cream (you can color the shaving cream with food coloring also) -decorations (ex. foam pieces, buttons, sequins, water beads, felt cutouts, plastic animals) -icing spreader (ex. butter knife, spatula) Kids spread the “icing” (shaving cream) all over the box, then decorate with objects. Water Beads Ocean Animal Scene
Water beads are the best! Non toxic and safe for ages 3+. There are endless possibilities for play with them. Materials: -storage bin -water beads -plastic animals -optional kitchen utensils and cups or bowls for transfering Moon Sand and Puzzle Hunt
Kiddos can help you make the 2 ingredient moon sand -8 cups all-purpose flour (not gluten free) -1 cup baby oil (or any preferable oil) -Can add couple drops of oil based food coloring for any desirable colors right into the oil Mix flour and oil together in bowl, knead the dough to distribute oil. Place in plastic bin for play. TIP 1: The standard food coloring will not work because moon sand is oil based. TIP 2: Moon Sand can also be colored using chalk or powdered tempera paint. Additional supplies -bin -puzzle or magnetic letters Add sand to bin and mix in puzzle pieces kids have to hunt for than assemble the puzzle. Can be done with letter pieces too to construct name. Wash the Animals
Materials: -1 bin for mud, 1 bin for water -sponge, toothbrush, scrubbers -soap (I prefer tear free options) -mud -plastic animal figurines (or toy cars) -hand towels or rags Set up one soapy water bin and one mud bin. Place animals in the mud and let the kids rescue the animals and clean them. Colored Spaghetti and Color Sort
Materials: cooked, washed, and cooled package of spaghetti food coloring vegetable oil gallon zip lock bags colored items to sort (ex. wood bead, food pouch tops, large beads or buttons, pom poms) coordinating color cups, bowls or colored paper for color sorting something to scoop with (ex.spoons, ladles, tongs, play tweezers storage bin Colored Spaghetti instructions
Divide the noodles into bags, using one bag for each color of pasta
Close bag and let kids shake them up to spread the color
Place colored spaghetti and colored items in a bin. Kids can play with spaghetti and pull out/scoop/tweeze the colored items to then color sort.