Learning through Play
Play is the best medium of expression for your Littles and the best form of play is unstructured, open ended and one that employs the imagination and creativity of the child. For younger children, the traditional for way of teaching that we are used to doesn’t always work. The best forms of learning for younger children is one that involves their sense of smell, touch, sight, hearing and taste.
If you have young children, you have by now realised that their attention span is very short and for you to get their attention and and sustain their interest in a particular activity, it has to be playful and has to involve them using most or all their senses. This is why Sensory Play is a very important aspect of the development of young children. Sensory Play is simply involving your child in activities that employ their sense of smell, taste, touch, hearing and sight and has as much movements as possible. Below you will find some simple Sensory Play activities that can be used to engage your Littles and consequently help them to discover and learn about the world around them using everyday items you can find at home.
Yes gardening is one of the best activities that offers a great Sensory experience for young children. Children just love water and mess, gardening offers both! And the benefits go beyond just a great Sensory Experience. It helps them also to;
- learn to take care of things
- care about what they eat
- move and exercise which is not only healthy but kills boredom as well
We tried gardening with my Little, assigned her a pot which, with our help she planted lettuce in. She was so excited, in fact over excited so much so she spent hours by the pot, watering them (over watering😂😂). After hours of over watering and pulling at the tender seedlings, the pot was a mess. However some of the plants still survived.
If you can find, get them miniature garden tools and it will be a great play and learn experience for them.
- RAINBOW SPAGHETTI
There is so much you can do with this;
- It can be used to teach your Littles to learn handling scissors by supervising then to cut the Spaghetti
- You may hide things in it and ask them to treasure hunt them out.
- You may use it to teach colours and colour recognition
- Or you may just allow your Littles to have a great sensory and messy play experience by just manipulating it with their hand.
It is so simple to make and totally taste safe, you will need some Spaghetti, food colours and some cooking oil
How to make it;
- Dilute some food colour in water and bring to a boil
- Add some small drops of oil and add the Spaghetti (the oil is to prevent the Spaghetti from sticking together after it has been cooked)
- Cook the Spaghetti according to package instructions
- Drain water, allow to cool and let your Littles have a go at it
- RAINBOW MELTING ICE
In this activity, you simply freeze some water overnight or until very solid.
You can make it fancy by adding some food colour. We made these using rainbow colours. You can also freeze some of their favourite items in the ice and ask them to rescue the items.
This is a very simple activity that can catch the attention of your Littles for a while.
You can take the opportunity to teach them about why water freezes and melts at different temperatures too. It’s also a great motor building activity.
- DYED SALT
Coloured salts are great for making sensory bins. You can throw in a few things like we did with these ocean animal figure and use it to teach your Littles various subjects. They are great for making writing and tracing trays to help your Littles practice they writing.
How to make the Coloured salt:
- Pour some salt into a container that can be tightly covered
- Add some drops of food colour(we used turquoise)
- Cover it tightly
- Give it a good shake
- Open it up, pour and allow to dry.
These are a few sensory play activities you can use to engage your Littles. For more sensory Play activities checkout our Instagram page @getpaged.