Sensory play is any type of play that engages one or more of a child’s senses, primarily the sense of touch. It includes activities that stimulate the senses of sight, smell, taste, hearing, and touch in order to promote the development of language skills, motor skills, and cognitive skills. Some examples of sensory play activities include play dough, water play, sand play, painting, and exploring different textures.
Sensory play activities involve using the senses (sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell) to explore and engage with the world around us. Here are some ideas for sensory play activities:
- Sand and water play: Fill a container with sand or water and provide a variety of materials for children to explore, such as cups, spoons, and other kitchen utensils.
- Play dough: Make or purchase play dough and provide a variety of materials for children to use, such as rolling pins, cookie cutters, and other kitchen utensils.
- Sensory bins: Fill a container with a variety of materials, such as rice, beans, pasta, or foam balls, and provide a variety of objects for children to explore, such as measuring cups, spoons, and plastic animals.
- Finger painting: Provide non-toxic paint and paper for children to explore the sense of touch through painting.
- Sensory bottles: Fill a clear plastic bottle with a variety of materials, such as water, food coloring, glitter, or small toys, and seal it securely. Children can shake the bottles and explore the contents with their sense of sight and touch.
- Music and movement: Play a variety of music and encourage children to move and dance to the rhythm, using their sense of hearing and movement.
- Sensory smells: Provide a variety of scents, such as essential oils, spices, or herbs, for children to explore with their sense of smell.
- Taste testing: Provide a variety of foods for children to explore with their sense of taste, such as fruits, vegetables, and other healthy snacks.
- Texture exploration: Provide a variety of materials with different textures, such as soft fabric, rough sandpaper, or smooth plastic, for children to explore with their sense of touch.