Thursday, March 13, 2014

Sensory Play Ideas

We all know the benefits of sensory play for processing and stimulation as well as both fine and gross motor development and skills. However, coming up with fun new ways to keep stimulating your little one’s senses can be overwhelming and tricky.

Sand play is always fabulous, and you can vary this up by using other items, like rice, for example.

As a great bedtime and relaxation play idea, try Lavender Rice which provides stimulation for little fingers, as well as colour and a calming aroma that also aids in relaxation and sleep.

·         Place 2 cups of uncooked rice in a plastic bag or large mixing bowl

·         In a small bowl, mix a few drops of red and blue food colouring to create purple

·         Pour the colouring into the rice

·         Add a few drops of lavender essential oil or lavender flowers

·         Mix ingredients well

·         Spread rice across a shallow baking dish and leave overnight to dry

Play dough is another great tool, and aside from making your own, there are variations of this product that provide different textures and strengths for varied stimulation.

Ice Cream Dough

·         ½ cup of cheap hair conditioner

·         1½ cups of cornflour

·         Mix well

·         Optional: divide up and add a drop or two of food colouring to each portion for a variety of colours

Mud Dough

·         In a mixing bowl or sensory play tray, add 1 cup water and 1 cup of vegetable oil

·         Add dry dirt and mix well. It’s a good idea to add a bit at a time and mix well to determine if you need more

·         If needed, add a little corn flour to remove moisture

Rainbow sensory balloons are another great idea, and fun for the kids (and maybe a bit of stress relief for you!).

·         Grab a rainbow coloured selection of water balloons and an equal number of tubs of play dough

·         Roll the play dough out and feed into the balloon (1 tub for each balloon)

·         Once full, roll or squish the balloon to remove all air bubbles

·         Tie the balloon and draw faces on each, varying the expressions, with a permanent marker

You can also fill small balloons with a variety of items, like sand, instant coffee, flour, rice and marbles to provide a range of stimulation for little hands and fingers.

Kids love this kind of sensory play especially when they see mum or dad getting involved in the fun as well.

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