Teacher-Approved Sensory Play Ideas For Kids

Preschool Teacher Camille Santos shares fun sensory play ideas for little children

Although it may look messy, there’s a whole lot of learning kids do when they engage in sensory play. Here, preschool Teacher Camille Santos shares five simple sensory play activities parents can try at home with the kids. You’ll want to get an apron on for these!

Sensory play activities for kids by Teacher Camille

What is sensory play? 

Sensory play is any form of activity that promotes exploration and stimulates the child’s sense of touch, sight, smell, taste, and hearing through play. 

Why is sensory play important for kids? 

Sensory play is so valuable to children for countless reasons. It facilitates speech and language development, reasoning and problem solving skills, fine and gross motor skills, and peer interaction. 

Since sensory play is an activity that stimulates the childs senses, providing kids with sensory bins is a tactile and fun way to learn about the world while exploring, investigating, and creating. Children enjoy listening to the sound of rice as they pour it from one container to the other, the feel of shaving cream on their fingers as they scribble and learn to draw lines, and the taste and smell of jello when they lick it.   

It teaches life skills!

Sensory play also teaches children skills that is pivotal all throughout their life. It can be as simple as using their spoons to scoop and transfer water to fill a container. Kids learn how much to put in order to fill a container and see that if they have put too much then it will just spill which also teaches them cause and effect, measurement, and estimating. 

It teaches kids to use their imaginations!

Sensory play promotes pretend play. Children use their imagination as they play. One can pretend to be feeding a doll or dinosaurs, rescue the animals that are stuck in ice, or clean the babies that have been playing with mud all day long. 

It helps kids develop fine motor skills

In sensory play, children use their hands most of the time enabling them to exercise their fine motor skills. With the use of spoon, dropper, scooper, and the like, children are taught to move their fingers and hands, improve their grip which is important in writing, and hand eye coordination. 

With all these in mind, sensory play is important to children because it teaches them important skills in life while having so much fun. It is learning while enjoying what you are doing. 

My favorite sensory play activities:

There are numerous sensory activities that children enjoy. Here are a few activities that are simple yet provide hours of learning and fun! 

1. Playdough

Playdough is very popular among children. Everyone loves playdough. Little do we know that this colorful blob has a lot of benefits. Squeezing, squishing, and poking playdough builds strength in a childs hands preparing them for writing later on. Children create various things with the use of playdough. They can pretend to bake a cake, make a flower, or simply just roll the dough to make a snake. 

2. Water beads

There are endless ways on how to play with these colorful water beads. Growing water beads itself is already so much fun as children observe and see what happens when they put a few in a container filled with water. Kids love scooping water beads from one container to the other, fill a bottle and shake, and sometimes squish them. 

3. Colored Rice

Children need not only play with their sensory bins but also enjoy taking part in the preparation. They enjoy shaking the rice and watching it change colors. With the use of fine motor tools, children can scoop, pour, and even dump colored rice in the bin. For added fun, you may put some animals or even kitchen toys. 

4. Water Play

Children love water. They can use their fishing rods or nets to catch pretend fish, squeeze sponges until they fill a container, or pretend to give the babies a bath with soap. 

5. Goop or Oobleck

Goop or oobleck is not just fun for kids but also for adults. I am sure adults will also enjoy preparing this very simple sensory activity. With the odd sensation that goop provides, I am certain that kids will be in awe once they touch it. Children will be amazed as it changes from solid to liquid very fast.   

Tell us, which of these did your kids enjoy the most?

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