Most parents have heard the term “Sensory Play.” But what does it really mean, and how does it relate to your child’s development?
Sensory play means your child’s senses are constantly engaged during an activity.
Sensory play is critical because of its role in brain development. Engaging as many of the five senses as possible literally helps the brain develop.
By the age of five, 95% of a child’s brain will be developed. So, we have a tremendous opportunity to impact children for a lifetime by simply engaging in sensory activities!
When creativity is limited, a child’s learning is limited. What can you do at home to help engage your child’s senses and promote sensory learning? It’s easier than you may think!
Here are 6 amazingly easy (and effective) activities to try at home to engage your child’s senses—and help develop their brains!
Allow your child to play with ice cubes! Ice cubes made with food coloring make for an awesome sensory coloring activity, rather than using a coloring book. The slippery cold is fun for kids, and they will see first-hand how ice melts.
Simply give your child a piece of paper and let them paint with their ice cube. A blank canvas will engage their creativity, and the more they color, the more they will experience the ice cube melting. Ask them to feel their paper to notice how cold it is!
Ask your child open-ended questions to describe the experience. Worksheets do not grow brain cells, sensory activities do!
Set up a tray of sweet, salty, tangy, spicy, and sour food items for your child to taste. Before starting, ask your child what they think each item will taste like. Talk through each taste with them.
Pro tip: Engage even more senses by allowing your child to choose foods from the grocery store they would like to try!
Put shaving or whipped cream in a bin or on a cookie sheet and let your little one have at it! Once they’ve gotten a feel for it, ask them to draw certain shapes, letters, or animals. Add in various colors of food coloring and see what they mix up!
4. Make Slime
This is a classic, but also a great sensory activity. This 3-ingredient slime recipe will make for a fluffy, sticky afternoon. It’s a great way to get your child’s creative juices flowing!
Think sensory activities can get too messy? Eliminate the mess with sensory bags while still giving your child an engaging experience. Plus, this activity is easy to set up and can be stored away for another day. Check out this colorful sensory bag activity using water and oil!
6. Rice Play
Rice can easily be dyed to make this activity a colorful one. Your child will be able to explore textures and colors and listen to the noises it makes! All you need is a bin, some rice, and food coloring.
Check out our blog for more activities, recipes, tips, and tricks to try with your kids at home!