Sensory play is important to your child’s development. Researchers have found that it helps make specific pathways through the brain. Did you know that 90% of a child’s brain develops by age five?
With that being said…toddlers and preschoolers must soak up much of their knowledge during this time. Most children of this age have a difficult time sitting and attending to tasks. That’s where sensory play comes in.
Sensory play fosters the child’s ability to retain information. It fosters concentration, language development, fine motor skills, problem-solving, imagination, and more!
When a child can focus on a task, they are able to process so much more. Their little brains are like sponges and are ready to learn. Why I encourage sensory play because I see the benefits through my early intervention sessions and with my own children. My students thrive when I add a specific lesson including a sensory bin. One of my students could not speak. I made a farm sensory bin and brought it to my next session with him. By the end of our session, he was saying different animal sounds!
Children learn through play. Sensory play is play! Sensory play enhances learning for tactile learners. Children need to learn by doing. Have you heard the quote, “what the hand does the mind remembers”? I’m sure you can relate to this quote too! Think about making a specific recipe. You will be more likely to remember the recipe if you’ve done it yourself. The same goes for children and play specifically sensory play.
If you want to be more intentional about adding sensory play to your child’s life download my FREE sensory guide here.
Here are some of my favorite tools to make an easy sensory bin:
- Highchair mat If you’d like to contain the mess of sensory play then purchasing a plastic tablecloth from the Dollar Store or a highchair mat like this one will help. It’s great because both are waterproof. Add it under any sensory bin for easy cleanup.
- Plastic bin Yes this may be a plastic paper tray, but this makes the perfect sensory bin. It is durable and easy to wash.
- Colorations letter gems These letter gems are perfect for any sensory bin because they can get wet or dirty and still last. After any sensory play give them a wash and dry, then store them away for the next time to play.
- Plastic stacking cups I like these cups because they are washable. Children can sort items in these cups, use them to scoop items up, or pour water.
- Fine motor tools Learning Resources makes a great fine motor set. Adding fine motor tools to your sensory bin is a must. Children can work on squeezing, dropping, scooping, and grabbing.
- Animal figurines Animals are so fun to add to a sensory bin because children like to role-play with the animals, say animal sounds, and sort them. I’m sure you’ll love all the language development you’ll see by adding these to any sensory bin you’ve made.
- Rainbow bears Bears are a great addition to any sensory bin. They are so beautiful and brightly colored. Children can sort them, make patterns, and count them.
- Inspire My Play This company makes a fabulous sensory bin. It has different compartments so you can add different items to them. It has a top so you can store items inside.
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