Spring is all around us now, and with a new season comes many exciting opportunities. Sensory play is of the utmost importance for many children, as it encourages in many ways that other activities don’t. It’s vital for their development, and should always be part of their growing up process. In this article, we will be looking at what sensory play is, and the many ways you can incorporate it at home.
What is Sensory Play?
Sensory play is an activity that engages your child’s senses. This can be any game or event in which they can be more present by tasting, seeing, smelling, touching, or listening. Typically, these activities include many textures and a variety of new items, which your child may have never seen before.
Sensory play is not only fun and engaging for your children, but it’s also important for their development. Sensory play allows for a child’s brain to build connections in meaningful and useful ways. Through these types of activities, they are able to process and understand things around them easier, by engaging their senses.
How to Do Sensory Play at Home:
1. How Can I Make My Garden More Fun For Kids?
The garden can be the ideal place to get in some of those all-important sensory activities for your children. Outside in nature, you can come across all sorts of wonders, including flowers, bugs, and butterflies - not to mention that vitamin D is perfect for everyone’s physical and mental wellbeing.
To make your garden more fun and sensory-friendly, you could get up close and personal with some of the plants living in your garden by making ‘flower soup’. Fill a tub with water, then go around the garden picking all the flowers and greenery which your children think look the prettiest. This could also work well if you have an old bouquet of flowers that are starting to look a little worse for wear. Then, pull off all the petals and put them into the tub of water. Get your children to mix up all the greenery to make ‘flower soup’. This is a great way to get your children moving, whilst also using their brains. You can even make this a more educational game by talking about what flowers are called, and what their purpose in the ecosystem is.
2. Build a Bath Together
Allowing your children to get more involved with the prep before bath time could be a great way to include some sensory play. When you are filling up the tub, allow them to pick out some toys. This engages their sight sense, and also gives them a role in getting the bath ready. You can also make this more educational by asking them to name the colours of the toys before putting them in the water. If your child is a little old for this and already knows their colours pretty well, you can also try getting them to name the colours in a different language.
Baths are also a great way to engage a child's smelling sense. Bath oils can add an extra element to bathtime, making it smell amazing for everyone. Let your child pour it in themselves, whilst you explain how much is needed per bath. Not to mention, bath oils can have a variety of extra benefits. Depending on what time your children take their baths, you could add some Sleep Well Oil to calm them down after a hectic day, or even body wash to help them focus after.
3. Visiting Your Local Farm
Your local farm is the ideal location for sensory play. Usually equipped with plenty of animals, muddy fields, hay bales as well as many fun things for families to do, farms can be a great place to get in some all-important activities using your children’s senses. Why not try packing a picnic and heading to your local spot? This will not only encourage your children to experience everything through their senses, but you also can make many happy memories in doing so.