Sensory Play! What is it and how do I get started?
Author: Casey from Little Lifelong Learners Date Posted: 10 January 2017
Sensory Play is such an important part of early childhood development. As your baby grows, they are constantly learning about their environment and the things that surround them. They explore the world just like us using their hands, eyes, mouths, ears and noses. You can help foster this understanding with sensory play!
So what is sensory play?
When you provide your Little Learners with play experiences that ignite the senses of touch, taste, smell, sound and sight, you are doing sensory play! It is the foundation of scientific understanding and encourages your baby or toddler to explore and make sense of the world around them by exploring with their senses.
Why is sensory play important?
Sensory Play is a wonderful way to begin learning with your baby or toddler. Through this type of play, your Little Learners can develop many crucial skills.
As your toddler pours and transfers materials from cup to cup, they are developing their hand-eye coordination and an early understanding of mathematical terms such as empty and full. When your baby explores a new texture such as mashed potato or jelly, they are developing their fine motor skills and object permanence as they undoubtedly drop the food from their highchair to the ground!
Oral language and scientific vocabulary can also be developed as you talk with your child while playing. Depending on their age, you might build their vocabulary by talking about how things look and taste or ask questions about what your child is smelling or thinking as they play.
Creativity can also be fostered as you engage in sensory art invitations involving finger paints, play dough or edible paint.
Okay, so how do I get started with sensory play?
You can start sensory play with many of the objects you will already have on hand in your home!
Containers of different shapes and sizes are wonderful for pouring and transferring water. You can make cloud dough using flour and cooking oil which can be reused over and over. Sensory bottles are very easy to make using recycled drink bottles and items from around the house such as rice, pasta, buttons, pom poms, sand, sticks, stones and even just water with a splash of food dye.
You can find many items suitable for sensory play in the Offspring Education store here. A small sand and water tray makes the perfect base for many sensory play projects!
Want to learn more?
Casey is an early years teacher turned stay-at-home mother. She is launching her first eBook, “Sensory Play for your Little Learners” on the 15th of January so be sure to hop on over to her blog to read more. You can also find more sensory play inspiration by following Casey on Instagram or Pinterest
Big thanks to Casey from Little Lifelong Learners for these great tips for sensory play!
We'll definitely be downloading this baby when it's released on the 15th January.