Following on from our previous article on the benefits of sensory play, here are some great play ideas for sensory play that are fun and easy to do at home.
All of these sensory play activities are designed to stimulate your young child’s senses: touch, smell, taste, movement, balance, sight and hearing.
Inspiring Play Ideas to Ignite Your Child's Senses
Get your hands on sensory boxes or exploration tubs filled with surprising textures. Imagine the joy of plunging into a tub of cooked and uncooked rice, wet and dry spaghetti, shaving foam, goop, or sand hiding small plastic treasures. As your child explores these textures, join in the fun without judgment. Comment on how things feel, smell, and look, allowing them to describe and experience the wonders of different textures in a positive and nurturing environment.
It's time to create delightful "sharing platters" during mealtimes. An afternoon tea adventure awaits as you introduce your child to a variety of fruits, vegetables, and other delectable treats. Prepare two plates: a tasting plate and a finished plate. Together, you can savour the flavours without any pressure to finish the food. Just a simple kiss or a lick of a pineapple can turn into a tongue-tickling sensation. Encourage your child to express their thoughts and preferences. Remember, the goal here is to explore different foods and expand their taste horizons.
Take a fragrant journey through the garden and let the scents captivate your child's sense of smell. Fresh herbs like peppermint, lavender, basil, or parsley provide a perfect opportunity for delightful conversations. Engage your child in discovering and comparing the distinct aromas. Inhale deeply and embark on a scented adventure together.
Transform your surroundings into a playground of visual wonders. Play thrilling spotlight games with a torch during the night-time, encouraging your child to spot various objects around the room. During the day, venture outdoors to bask in the natural sunlight and observe the enchanting dance of shadows. The world is a canvas waiting to be explored!
Let the magic of your voice captivate your child's sense of hearing. Experiment with changing the tone and volume as you engage in play and storytelling. Whisper tales that draw them closer or create playful sounds that make them giggle. By adapting your voice, you encourage them to listen and engage in a whole new way.
It's time for thrilling adventures that challenge your child's sense of balance. Encourage them to spin, swing, and bounce on different equipment, whether it's in your backyard or at the local park. As they embark on these gravity-defying escapades, engage in conversations about how it makes them feel. The joy of movement and finding their balance is just a hop, skip, and jump away!
Perception (Body Awareness):
Engage your child in activities that promote body awareness and stimulate their large muscles and joints. Think wheelbarrow walks, colossal frog jumps, or sliding on their bottoms. These activities encourage heavy work and provide a fantastic opportunity for your child to explore their physical capabilities and space.
By immersing your child in these sensory play experiences, you're igniting their imagination, fostering their development, and creating lasting memories. So, gear up, embrace the joy of discovery, and watch as your child's senses come alive through play.
Remember, the best part of sensory play is not just the destination but the journey of exploration and connection with your child. So, get ready to embark on this marvellous sensory expedition together and create a world filled with laughter, learning, and love.