Sensory play lets your kids explore and at the same time have fun.
I loved watching the awe and wonder on my little one’s faces as they tried their first bites of mashed pumpkin and they loved watching my face as they mushed the pumpkin into every possible crevice on the high chair tray before it went all over their face and into their hair.
Sometimes it feels like all we do is clean up one mess after another, but it’s important to remember that this is all some form of sensory play. Sights, sounds, textures, food and smells (the good, the bad and the just plain ugly) are fascinating to little ones. To them, everything is a new sensation and something to explore.
Employing all of the five senses is a key way for babies and toddlers to make some sense of this crazy world we live in – on a basic level, anyway.
Every day things can be stimulating for babies such as the feeling of water in a pool or bath and the sounds of music playing on the stereo. But as babies become toddlers, they’ll want to feel a variety of materials, scoop and sort small objects, and start to get an understanding of cause and effect, gravity and other physics concepts.
Although the benefits of sensory play are well documented, there’s no denying it can be a super-messy process and the thought of enabling a child to create a tsunami of filthy craziness with your seal of approval can go against the grain for many parents – but trust me, it’s gonna be a fruitful activity! Just keep your cleaning bucket ready lol
Let’s explore some cool sensory play ideas, shall we?
1. Yoghurt Paint
Why use the regular non-toxic paint, when you can make it edible and completely safe for babies and toddlers of all ages? Two ingredients, yoghurt and colouring, create hours of fun.
2. Sensory Bottles
The best thing about these little sensory sensations is that they can be made from every day household items. The bottle used can be any shape and size as long as it is plastic so that bub can safely shake, lift and touch to their little hearts content.
You can also play with many different types of sensory skills with this, some examples include filling the bottle with water and glitter allowing babies to see the brilliant colour and shine without the normal mess of the shiny dust which always seems to get everywhere.
Or by filling it with sticks and sand to create a Rainstick Sensory Bottle which little ones just love to listen to, and it creates the wonderful sound while also affecting the hearing sensory.
Really this little bottle for your little one is only limited by your imagination and creativity.
3. Cloud Dough
It’s soft and shimmery, light and flaky and completely baby-safe, so can find its way into hands, hair and most importantly, mouths. Better yet, it’s made with just whole grain rice cereal and coconut oil!