I have been torn back and forth between this issue of sensory play. I can honestly say that I do not completely understand the necessity of it for most children. I have not put much effort into making special sensory play for my kids, but wanted to know if I was missing something.
I decided today that I am okay with the experiences I already give my children. I try not to be lazy, and I do my best to teach my children, but I believe that simple is better. At least for me. I do not want to own any special sensory play bins/toys, and I especially do not want to make any extra messes.
That is not to say I disagree with sensory play, I just do it in a more practical way. Here is a list of the sensory things my children have done in the last two weeks, all without any forethought of giving them sensory play.
2. Playing in the water hose
3. Playing in the rain
4. Playing in the mud (yes I’m serious about this, it took a few mins for my kids to understand that it was allowed, but getting muddy is perfectly safe and healthy….as long as you get clean :)
5. Making biscuits
6. Playing with flour from baking (eating it was not encouraged but somehow it still happened)
7. Making bread
8. Rolling cookie dough
9. Playing with bubbles
10. Playing with snails and frogs, surprisingly my children are not afraid of frogs. I am, but won’t let them know that.
11. Picking tons of flowers (we categorize them like nerds :)
12. Rock hunting
13. Walking barefoot outside
14. Playing with chalk
15. Breaking eggs. This is messy, and highly unsanitary, but its their favorite, so I just clean well afterward.
16. Playing in the sand. Not a sandbox, real, outside sand. We live in FL, so its not hard to come by.
17. Eating with their hands. Usually not encouraged, but it happens, and my son especially thinks textures are entertaining.
18. Eating TONS of different types of food. I rarely make the same meal in a month’s time of being home (which usually takes a whole lot more time than a month for us!)
19. Playing with toys of different textures (they have some weird slimy, squishy toys along with normal toys)
20. Painting with our hands and feet
21. Making our own music with kid made instruments
22. Singing and dancing, we sing songs nightly with hand motions to them.
23. We did fireworks and that definitely peaked visual and hearing senses!
24. Watching construction workers
25. Helped Daddy mow the grass and fix the mower
26. We were eyewitnesses to different flying birds, snails, wasps (one eating an inchworm!), dragon flies, and different bugs in action. We like to just watch nature.
27. Visiting the river. There are lots of things to see, hear and feel at the river.
I have decided that sensory play is great! The only catch is that normal life provides plenty of thrill for the senses already. We talk about how things feel, we notice experiences together. We coin words for new sensations, and we giggle about silly feelings. No extra messes or equipment required.
Do you do sensory play with your children? Has it been helpful or exciting?