What is sensory play?! In truth, you’ve likely done a lot of sensory play without even realizing it. Anything that engages some of a child’s senses – touch, taste, smell, hearing, sight – is sensory play. So now you’re thinking, everything is sensory play, isn’t it? Well yes, it doesn’t have to be too complicated! If you talk to any occupational therapist, they will tell you something along the lines of sensory play being so good for a child’s brain development. A child is going to become better at communicating, using their fine motor skills, problem solving, and bonus, they will sure like spending the quality time with you! Beyond the obvious benefits I’ve just named, I’ve loved coming up with or finding different activities to change up the days – variety is the spice of life, isn’t it? So not only is it fun for my little one, it’s fun for me too.
Here are some examples of sensory play activities we’ve done so far.
Reusable See-Through Bags
Paper and Paint…
and Paper Straws.
Even though I’m still keeping an eye on C while she’s playing with everything, keeping anything that’s a choking hazard safely in the bag, makes it safe and fun to play with…as long as she doesn’t learn to open up the bag!
In the Kitchen
Okay, the kitchen is where toys are made! Some fun things we have done is adding water to a baking sheet for some water play (you can add toys in there too).
And my famous Brownie Pan…each well can have a different toy in it, which is great for hand-eye coordination, but also so pretty to look at…”out it comes, in it goes”.
We can’t forget a chafing dish from the Dollar Store with Tupperware lids (or blocks) – so loud and obnoxious, but so fun.
We filled bigger containers with small containers for an easy musical instrument!
And just like the see-through bags, a see-through container with water and beads creates loads of fun!
Do you have any brown paper bags lying around? Because that can bring some great, loud fun.
Lastly in the kitchen, we can’t forget parchment paper and painter’s tape!
Bin of Fun
I always like to have “bins of fun” around the house, and not just because it’s nice and easy to clean up and put everything in one bin. Also because it’s so fun for babies to explore pulling all the items out, finding something they like, and then exploring some more!
If you want to re-love an old shoebox, you can first poke holes in it and tie ribbons through the holes, for some ribbon pulling fun!
And then you can make those holes bigger to fit blocks through!
Enjoy exploring all the senses with the little one in your life!