So, what is sensory play? Sensory play refers to a series of play activities that encourages children to make use of his/her 5 senses. The average preschooler is in a curious stage of exploration and is gravitating towards fragrances, textures, sounds, patterns and everything he/she can see or grasp within reach. To quell the curiosity brewing in your child and to impart the knowledge he/she is seeking, Little Red Hen Preschool has introduced sensory play activities with the aid of loose parts. Here’s presenting to you a roundup of sensory play activities that can be conducted with the aid of loose parts.
Splash around some water
In the summer months, water play makes for an ideal sensory play activity. All you need is a bathtub or a small bucket for younger ones topped up with water and strewn with things that they can grasp or hold on to. Wondering what to line-up? There are innumerable possibilities with this one, within the confines of your house. You could put in some shells, herbs, pebbles, stones, beakers, measuring cups, colanders, balls, ice cubicles and teething toys.
Water play has more benefits than you can count off your fingers. It gives children an outlet to vent that pent up energy and can either calming or perking effect on them depending on the nature of the activity. The repetitive activity of scooping up items, pouring water and dipping your hands in and out of the bin helps kids unwind and relax. It also leads to motor skill refinement and stimulate imagination.
Sensory Bin – Let’s build a small little world
Sensory bins can be purchased or built in a storage bin or an empty basin. There is an interesting array of bin fillers to pick from sand and water is the commonly preferred ones. It can be accompanied with beans, rice, lentils, popcorn kernels, pasta or potato flakes. If you are looking for some non- food filler items you could perhaps throw in some balls, streamers, tissue paper, cotton, cut-up straws marbles, flour, leaves, wool or hay. These are few of the many items to pick from.
The sensory bin coveted by many, and here’s why. Preschool learning, or for that matter, all of learning, is best achieved when one explores and the sensory bin gives your little one the freedom to do just that. It may appear to be an activity for the refinement of tactile senses, but there’s a lot more to it. Prowling through the sensory table gives them the understanding of concepts like gravity, matter and color. With their eyes and attention riveting all over the place sensory place makes them more aware and increases their focus. It also makes them more social as they excitedly rattle of the things they witness and feel.
Beyond the Bin
Once in a while, refrain from saying “Stop making a mess!” Those fine grained mud particles open up a whole new world of concepts for your little one. Strange as it may sound, scientists have confirmed that getting a child’s exposure bacteria curbs the risk of depression. Being free flowing and open ended the nature of mud bears semblance to that of a child’s and ignites that spurt of creativity in him/her. Having their pink petal like toes immersed in mud, makes for an ultimate tactile experience. Mud play enables them to forge a connect with nature and respect it. So let your child pick up the spade, chase the ant running in the sand or sit cross-legged in a mud pit, it could result in them learning things you want them to.
Miraculous Dough Mounds
As children mould those colorful dough mounds into shapes they make use of all their five senses. Hearing the sound that comes with thumping the dough, sniffing in its unique fragrance, recognizing the different colors and putting in that ounce of effort to create something strengthens the muscles. It prods the child to investigate and learn new concepts. One can throw in loose parts like beads, mosaic tiles, dried beans or seeds to add in it the element of tactile learning.
Sensory play is basis for the everyday activities you perform as an adult. It can be started as early as possible, and when combined with loose parts it has a profound effect on the child’s development scale. Little Red Hen Preschool is one of the few schools to introduce sensory play to its students with loose parts.