An adult’s idea of teaching kids typically revolve around academically focused activities like counting, learning the alphabet, and memorizing flashcards. Although using traditional learning materials does offer exceptional value to a child’s development, sensory play is still the most effective, especially for toddlers and young kids. And while using the senses to play comes naturally for children, parents are often confused about the concept and how they can properly incorporate sensory play in their child’s learning activities.
According to houseofplay.com, there are various activities parents can use to incorporate sensory-focused play. There are also toys and equipment that maximise the use of the senses. In this article, we will recommend several ideas that are easy to replicate at home or in school.
Allow the child to play with food
Parents hate the mess, but a little child will naturally play with food to make sense of its taste and texture. Allowing a child to play with food is a type of sensory activity that also facilitates learning. According to experts, kids who participate in sensory play with food are more likely to try these foods and experiment with new tastes as well.
With young kids, especially toddlers, parents should worry less about table manners and allow the child to explore. Give your child foods with different textures and tastes so that they can satisfy their curiosity while at the same time satisfying their hunger.
Build a sandbox
One of the best ways to incorporate outdoor sensory play is by building a sandbox. It’s budget-friendly and suitable for toddlers and pre-school kids. You can either build a traditional sandpit on the ground or a table with kinetic sand. By filling the sandbox with toys and tools, kids will have more fun and get creative too.
DIY musical instruments
This activity is suitable for pre-school aged children with more advanced motor skills. With some assistance and supervision, you can create DIY musical instruments using recycled materials found at home. How about making a pair of maracas filled with dried beans? You can also make a makeshift guitar using an empty box and rubber bands as strings.
A bottle to calm an overwhelmed child
Little kids can experience anxiety and become overwhelmed when there’s too much going on around them. One way to help a child calm down is by using a calming bottle. All you need is an empty water bottle, glitter, glue, and food-safe dye. Mix water with clear glue and fill the bottle. Add glitter and a few drops of dye, then secure the lid. When the child is throwing a tantrum, allow him to shake the bottle and feel soothed by the glitter’s movement.
Jumping is a good way to release extra energy while also encourage movement. If you can, invest in a small trampoline for your backyard. If space is an issue, you can use jump ropes or exercise balls instead. For a bit of variety, why not make a small obstacle course to challenge your child? Of course, you also need to make sure that all materials are safe, and you watch over your child during the activity to avoid accidents.