Sensory Play - The Benefits and At Home Activities to Try

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Sensory Play - The Benefits and At Home Activities to Try

by: Jasmine Reed

According to sensory play is any activity that children engage in, that stimulates the five senses: sight, touch, hearing, taste, sound and smell. These types of activities help children to make sense of the world around them, and develops cognitive and social skills that will prove to be beneficial throughout their lives.

Some of those benefits, as mentioned on include the following:

  • Builds nerve connections in the brain’s pathways, which lead to the child’s ability to complete more complex learning tasks.

  • It aids in developing and enhancing memory

  • It’s also great for calming an anxious or frustrated child

We are intentional about incorporating sensory play several times throughout our days and weeks, here at Vinehouse. But the learning and growing doesn’t have to stop there. You can create fun, at home sensory activities of your own. Below is a list of ideas to get you started!

  • Sound: Tub O' Macaroni - This is a super simple activity that kind of doubles as a touch and sound sensory activity, but we’ll just use it for sound. All you need is a plastic tub, macaroni or similar dried pasta and empty plastic jars of varying sizes. Set the kids up in their designated play area and watch as they have fun exploring. Some things they might discover include the different sounds and level of noise the pasta makes in the different sized jars, and more!

  • Sight: Soapy Galaxy Jar - This would be a great on-the-go activity for those inevitable meltdown scenarios. For this activity you’ll need an empty mid-large sized jar with lid, food coloring of choice, dish soap, and glitter (optional). You just mix all of those ingredients with some water and seal the jar’s lid with some glue for leak-proof play. Your little one is sure to be mesmerized by the cool colors and glitters floating around.

  • Smell: Smelling Bottles - With this activity, all you need are cotton balls, essential oils, colorful stickers and empty glass jars or spice bottles. Essentially it’s a matching game, so this will be interesting to watch your little one’s mind work. You’ll soak the cotton balls in a few drops of the essential oil of your choosing and place the same scented cotton balls in two different bottles. Denote they’re a match by placing a sticker of the same color on the bottom of the bottles. So basically your little one will have to match up the different scents and will determine whether they’re correct by seeing if the stickers on the bottom of the bottle, are the same.

  • Touch: Textured Balloons - Just get some balloons and stuff away! You can use common household items to fill the balloons such as baby powder, coffee grounds, rice, rocks, water, etc. This activity is pretty simple.

  • Taste: Jello Art - I think it’s safe to say that Jello is a part of everyone’s childhood at some point. This activity is super neat because the jello will take the shape of whatever container it’s placed in to cool. Then your little one can come up with different masterpieces based off the image shown in the activity link provided. You can use knives and biscuit cutters to alternate or change the size of the different jello shapes to make it easier for them to match their masterpiece with what’s shown in the picture. And they get to enjoy a treat while they’re at it. It’s the perfect activity.

We hope you give some of these activities a try and enjoy helping your little one learn more about the world around them. Happy exploring!

Khiari Mcalpin