3 DIY Sensory Play Activities For Children

Imagine that after a long time in a cave, you go out into the outside world and find many colors, textures, sounds, and shapes you have never seen before.

Perhaps the first thing that comes to your mind is that you want to know them all, know where they come from, why they are like that, and much more.

The same goes for children. You are introducing them to a new world with things they will discover little by little and are eager to know. As parents, it is our job to familiarize them with this new environment and make their transition process smoother.

With sensory learning activities, you can do this entertainingly so that your children learn to associate and bond with all these new elements.

At Spimbey, we want your relationship with your kids to be one of love, union, and friendship, so we will explain sensory playing and give you some DIY play activities.

Sensory playing: learning through their senses.

You may want to go straight to knowing what activities you can recreate at home with your little ones, but first, we want to explain a little about the basics. 

Knowing this allows us to evaluate and understand everything happening during this sensory experience. Therefore, we will be more skillful when it comes to identifying the needs that our child has.

The concept of sensory play it’s pretty self-explanatory. It refers to any playing activity involving one, if not more, of the five senses through different objects, sounds, or other elements.

We can categorize these sensory activities and specific groups of objects and sounds according to the kid’s age, meaning that:

  • Infant (0 months-2 years old): activities oriented to fine and large motor skills. Fundamental solving problems like picking up a toy. Development and improvement of their language by teaching them sounds, preferably short words and vowels.
  • Toddlers (2 – 4 years old): fine and large motor activities oriented towards balance and coordination. Development of their social skills by making them meet and interact with other children. Activities that involve associative cognitive processes begin to develop.
  • Children (4 – 7 years old): activities to refine motor skills like cutting with scissors and breaking or tearing papers apart. However, at this point, we focus on activities that develop cognitive and intellectual processes as well as problem-solving.

With this in mind, you can choose from activities we will give you that best suit your baby’s needs and ages. 

DIY: what’s in the bag?

In this game, you enhance the sense of touch and help improve different cognitive processes related to the association of textures, shapes, and sizes to particular objects. 

What you’ll need:

  • A piece of dark cloth to use as a blindfold.
  • A plastic or cloth bag that is dark and not see-through (in case they’re sneaky enough to cheat the blindfold).
  • Many objects of different sizes, materials, and shapes.
  • A desire to have fun and laugh with the answers they will give you (but we know you got that one covered).

How to play:

  1. Fill the bag with the objects.
  2. Cover their eyes with the improvised blindfold.
  3. Ask them to put their hand into the bag, grab the first object, and try to guess what it is with the sense of touch.
  4. After guessing it is, let them take it out and remove the blindfold so their brain can associate what they just felt with the object’s image.

It resembles the scientific method since kids analyze the results based on their knowledge and formulate a hypothesis. After taking the object out of the bag, they either confirm their theories or realize they were wrong. 

DIY: water soup

This game is a way to involve water play if you don’t have a pool, bath, or anything like that nearby, and it’s pretty simple. Unlike Art Attack’s craft ideas, you won’t need much.

What you’ll need

  • A somewhat large recipient. (it can be a pot or even a Tupperware)
  • Waterproof toys or items of different sizes.
  • A  plastic toy shovel or even a hand strainer.
  • Patience and be prepared to be drenched or dry your house afterward.

How to play:

  1. Fill the recipient with enough water.
  2. Submerge objects in it.
  3. Give your child the shovel and ask him to take the things out of it.

This game could be interesting on its own if we’re talking about a toddler, but if you’re child’s a little older, make the activity more dynamic by setting a timer.

Water soup is a great sensory play idea for young children since they have to concentrate and use their coordination and fine motor skills. It is a more accessible way to recreate a sensory bin more simply, and it works amazingly to introduce them to liquid textures.

DIY: time for slime.

As parents, we must be pretty familiar with the term slime. It has been all over social media, and kids love it, as Ronnie McDonnie would say.

Perhaps buying a toy like this seems like an unnecessary waste of money because you don’t see much point in it as a toy. But, hey, weren’t we decades ago the ones who were obsessed with Play-Dough and modeling clay?

The truth is that in addition to being used as if they were stress balls, children fortify their fingers and hands by molding them for hours (which they do), and this strengthens their motor skills.

Explaining to you step by step how to make slime can get a little bit confusing if you don’t have something visual to guide from, therefore

watch this video to learn a simple smile recipe using shaving cream.

Involve your kid in the process to bond and have fun together; you could consider this a way of messy play.

All hands on deck!

Children have a natural and curious desire to learn that we must nurture for their correct development and growth, both physical and intellectual.

At Spimbey, we have taken it upon ourselves to ensure that the fun goes side by side with safety and learning. We are constantly creating content like this on our blog so that you can better engage with the development process of your children in different and exciting ways.

Now that you know what this method means and have some simple sensory play activities at home, what stops you from spending a family day full of learning and fun using all five senses?

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