What is sensory play?

As a parent, helping your child learn is one of the most important things you can do. When your child is little, sensory play is a fun and engaging way for your child to excel in many different learning areas. 

What is Sensory Play?

We guarantee you have heard about it! Everyone seems to be chatting about it…but what is it? Do you know?

People generally think that picking things up and feeling their texture is what sensory play is, but it’s about much more than touch. 

Sensory play is any activity that stimulates children’s senses: touch, smell, taste, sight and hearing. It is an important part of early childhood development as it gives children endless ways to develop and learn. As parents, we all want the best for our children. We would do anything to ensure that they have a good, solid foundation when starting school. We want them to start school ready to learn and thrive.  But where do you even start?

Well, you’re in the right place, we are here to tell you some of the benefits and give you some ideas on how you can get started with sensory play, today! 

Why is sensory play important?

Learning through sensory play helps children develop and improve their fine and gross motor skills, coordination and concentration. They also learn how to work cooperatively and collaboratively, use their five senses (sight, sound, smell, taste and touch) to discover, explore and make sense of their learning environment. 

Through sensory exploration your child is able to create new neurological pathways which are important for learning and making sense of the world around them. When your child is encouraged to use multiple senses at once to accomplish a task, they actually learn more from the experience and retain more information. 

When a child is playing with a sensory activity they are:

  • Working on independent play skills, plus social skills if they are working alongside a sibling or friend
  • Developing language
  • Improving early Math skills (scooping and pouring help develop the concept of capacity- empty and full)
  • Developing imaginary play / dramatic play
  • Learning important life skills (pouring, scooping, transferring)
  • Building upon their fine and gross motor skills
  • Encouraging tactile learning
  • Developing self-control
  • Encouraged  to think, wonder, explore and develop creativity

Plus, sensory play is an incredibly therapeutic activity which can be great for calming an anxious or frustrated child. Wow, who would have thought something so simple to set up and create could actually have so many learning benefits for your children.

So how do you start integrating sensory play into your everyday life? 

The good news is it is simple!

 

 

How to get started with sensory play:

By taking objects that you already have in the house you can create many fun experiences for you and your child. Some of our sensory play essentials include:

  • Ice cube trays
  • Muffin tin
  • Egg cartons 
  • Coloured plastic bowls from IKEA
  • Tweezers, tongs and scoops
  • Strainers
  • Animal figurines

  

Sensory bin filler ideas: 

  • Water beads (you can purchase these from our shop)
  • Rainbow Rice
  • Playdough

**We also sell our own homemade Rainbow rice and playdough, so keep your eye out for when they’re live on our website**

      

Sensory bin filler ideas continued: 

  • Kinetic sand
  • Bubble foam
  • Water
  • Sand
  • Corn kernels
  • Pasta
  • Soup mix
  • Black beans
  • Pom poms
  • Shaving cream
  • Oats
  • Old, stale cereal 

             

Places to set up your sensory play: 

  • Flisat table from IKEA – OMG, if you don’t own one… do yourself (and your kids) a favour and invest in one

  • Tuff tray – or the base of a dog crate works just as well

  • Black serving tray from Kmart

 

  • Bath tub
  • Under bed storage tray
  • Kitty litter tray from kmart 

We hope we have inspired you to give sensory play a go, it doesn’t need to be expensive or complex! Just have fun!

We would love to see your creations and your little monkeys enjoying sensory play too, so remember to tag us @monkeymindsau

Don’t forget you can purchase water beads from us, click the link, add them to your cart and get started!

Much love,

Jenna  xx

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