Our latest blog post has been written by blogger Zara from Play Tribe.
Zara is a mum to two gorgeous humans, Aidan (3 years) and Evie (18 months).
She is currently on maternity leave from Primary Teaching but before having Aidan she taught for 6 years in the primary sector.
Now that she is home she loves combining her passion for learning and play with her new role as a mum.
Zara started sharing her daily play journey over on Instagram, as @zaras_play_tribe, late in 2018.
She has loved the connections, friendships and experiences it has brought her and early 2019 she started her blog ‘Play Tribe’.
Zara is a self-proclaimed bad adult, her cutlery doesn’t match and she never irons but the things she is good at is playing and making learning fun!
The world of sensory play can be big and overwhelming.
There are so many different sensory bases, so many different accessories to go with it and what are kids even meant to do with it all?
It doesn’t have to be fancy; it doesn’t have to be hard; it doesn’t even have to be pretty!
To be honest, most of my sensory play ideas are the same just with a different base.
So, I thought I would share with you four of my top sensory play ideas that are sure to spark your little one’s imagination and engage them in truly meaningful play!
4 Simple Sensory Activities
These 4 simple sensory activities can be used with any sensory base, from playdough to water to rainbow rice and everything in between! The accessories are ones that you should be able to find around the house too so no shopping necessary.
Scooping and pouring
With a few Tupperware containers and some spoons from your kitchen, you have you a sensory play idea full of practical life skills. From learning how to use utensils to pre-maths skills such as estimation, problem-solving, capacity and volume there is something for every age!
This can be done with any sensory base but above I have shown chickpeas, water and rainbow rice.
Hide and seek
Does your little one love trucks? Why not hide them in a sensory tub! This is a great way to encourage reluctant kids to engage with a sensory base, making it interesting to them by using familiar and exciting objects. This can be as simple as finding hidden objects, or as advanced as finding the object and completing a specific task with it – like the alphabet puzzle!
Using spare cooking utensils from the kitchen, as accessories, you can quickly set up these sensory explorations. Making and creating different dishes with your little one can spark imaginative conversations and further develop important practical life skills. I have shown how to make cupcakes and different deserts but my little ones also love making soup and salad!
Why not encourage imaginative play by creating a small world? Grab some small people, animals or figurines and pair them with simple bases. How about making a road out of black dough? Perfect for all those transport lovers! Ocean animals can simply be placed in a tub of water then have conversations about sinking and floating and the different animals that live in the ocean. Place your farm animals amongst some coconut grass and discuss different farm animals, what sounds do they make? What are their names?
The thing I love about these 4 activities is that you will have most of, if not all, of the accessories and bases already.
These setups can be done, again and again, using a different base to keep it interesting.
I recently created a FREE ebook with heaps of taste-safe sensory bases. Things from the pantry, or even straight from the tap!
You might still be asking, what is my little one actually meant to do with it all?
Well just keep it simple and let your little ones explore. There is no right or wrong way to play with sensory materials, it is purely about exposing them to new things that stimulate their senses.
What are your go-to ways to play with sensory materials? I would love to hear all about it!
Thank you so much, Zara, for some simple yet brilliant ways to introduce sensory play activities in your home, using household items we all have!
Please say hi to Zara over on her social channels listed below and be sure to download her book as there are SO many incredible sensory play ideas in it.