“Play is the language of childhood. Speaking our children’s language may sound like nonsense to us, but it sounds like love to them.” – L. R. Knost
Sensory play can be any experience that stimulates a child’s senses: smell, sight, taste, touch and hear. Sensory play can invigorate a child’s imagination and encourage balance and movement. Allowing children to be led by their senses in their play, allows them to strengthen connections and sensory processing information, forging positive pathways in their brain. Even though sensory play can be simple experiences, it has the potential to be beneficial beyond surface expectations, including:
- Promoting language development
- Encouraging imagination, scientific concepts and problem solving
- Supporting emotional competence, including self-regulation
- Developing fine and gross motor skills
Now you know the benefits, but how can you bring this learning into your own home?
Here are our top recipes.
Taste Safe Slime:
Although we are huge advocates for sensory play, we also acknowledge babies enjoy exploring with their mouth. Tailored to respect individual children’s medical and health needs, try this safe and nutritious recipe at home:
1 cup of chia seeds
1 cup of water
Refrigerate over night, ready for play in the morning!
Experimenting with colours:
It is never too early to begin exploring scientific concepts with your children. You will need:
1 tray filled with bi-carb
Several small cups filled with various coloured vinegar
Encourage your child to create chemical reactions by dropping the liquid onto the bi-carb and mixing colours!
Scoop and measure:
You will need:
Long grain white rice
Several food storage containers with lids (one per colour)
In each container, place 1 cup of rice, 1/2 teaspoon of vinegar and a few drops of food colouring. Shake the containers until the colour is evenly dispersed. Pour the rice onto baking trays, spreading evenly, and place in a sunny area until dry.
The opportunities with coloured rice are endless! Hide bugs and encourage your child to find them using tweezers, considering sorting activities (colour, type) or even simply add various cups and spoons and a set of scales to watch your child scoop, pour and measure!