Sensory Activities… you hear these words and think, “That activity has to be messy”. We associate sensory experiences with letting your child get dirty, or making a mess in your home, but that is not always the case! You can create a valuable sensory learning experience that does not (always) require a vacuum or bath time when you are done. The key with creating a stress-free sensory activity is setting boundaries. With pre-planning and establishing some rules, you can successfully keep your space mess free.
- For younger children, add paint to a piece of paper and stick it inside a plastic bag. They can squish the paints around to create a beautiful masterpiece while keeping their little hands paint free!
- Grab an empty water bottle and get mixing. Sensory bottles help with relaxation and are easy to make. Simply adding water, glue and glitter will create a magical experience for your child. Make sure to seal the lid so your little one cannot open (and inevitably dump) that glittery magic all over the floor.
- Looking to add a bit of S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) to your child’s day? Painting with magnets puts a fun new twist on things for students that are old enough to use (and not swallow) the pieces. Before starting, you can explain how magnets work and display some of their magnetic properties. To get started, place a piece of paper in a plastic bin or use a paper plate. After you add paint, place one magnet on top and give the opposite magnet to your child to hold under the bin/plate. They will then see that they can move the magnet on top around without even touching it!
- Make some noise (and maybe grab a pair of ear plugs)! Let your child explore different sounds with their own kitchen band. Mess free fun includes pots and pans and a spoon for tapping. Let that little drummer create a beat!
- Keep it basic. Kids love splashing in water, so why not give them that opportunity? Outside water play is an easy sensory experience that allows your little one to splash, pour, and spray without getting water in the house.
- Feeling adventurous? Sometimes getting a little messy is alright. Creating rules about where sensory play can take place is one step, but including your little one in the clean-up is also a valuable lesson. Did they just throw a handful of rice while scooping across the kitchen? When all is said and done, have them sweep up some of the grains to encourage independence and responsibility.
At Crème de la Crème, we utilize sensory play in our curriculum to help engage a child in learning and to stimulate their senses. For infant through school age children, sensory play impacts brain development. When engaging in sensory activities, a child is learning through play- they build on their cognitive, physical, social and emotional, and language skills.