4 Reasons for Sensory Play & DIY Sensory Bag
Sensory play is an important part of learning for babies and toddlers. Amanda Morgan, of www.notjustcute.com, explains in her article that kids learn more through experience and play rather than being taught.
As soon as a baby is born (and data shows that even in utero), they are learning from their environments. Sensory play is a fun a easy way for kids to learn and discover about shapes, textures, sounds, smells and tastes.
As babies develop, they are using their senses to explore. That is why everything goes in their mouths (besides when they are teething). They are trying to discover and learn about different textures and taste.
4 Reasons for Sensory Play
1) Using sensory play encourages language skill development. New experiences require new words and phrases to be learned. Children are motivated through play to learn and develop new skills. Learning through the senses helps children develop classifying and categorization skills.
2) Learning through sensory play encourages brain development. Research has shown that sensory play builds nerve connections in the brain’s pathways, which lead to the child’s ability to complete more complex learning tasks. Sensory play encourages problem solving skills.
3) Sensory play is also good for fine motor skill development. When you give more opportunities for children to use their hands, they will fine tune the skills needed to manipulate smaller objects.
4) Sensory Play is a great social activity. Children learn about sharing and playing with others through play environments. Using sensory play is a great way to get kids involved with each other and sharing. Children can share what they are learning about the objects with each other “This rock is cold and hard.” “The bubbles are sticky.”
Sensory activities are easy to make.
You can make sensory bins or bags.
For Bins, you can fill a bin with beans, rice, sand, or water. Next, place different objects in the bin for your child to play and discover.
I saw one sensory bin full of feathers! That looked like a lot of fun too.
When you are playing with sensory bins or bags, help your child discover by asking:
What do you feel? What do you see? What do you hear? What do you smell? if appropriate, What do you taste? (Not always appropriate, haha)
For my sensory water bag:
I wanted to create a sensory bag that would appeal to both my 3 year old and my 9 month old.
My 3 year old is learning about Letters and Numbers right now. She likes playing games finding letters, discovering sounds and learning new words.
My 9 month old is very tactile. She wants to touch and feel everything.
2 ziplock bags
some tape to seal bags (I used clear packing tape)
I filled one ziplock bag 1/3-1/2 full of water. I like the look of bubbles in water, so I added a little soap (about one pump of my hand soap).
I added 3 different colors of glitter. (blue, red, and gold). About a pinch of each. You can add how much you like.
Place foam letters in bag.
Close bag (try to get all the air out as possible) and seal with tape.
Place bag in another bag to be safe ; ) (Again, try to get all the air out as possible)
With my 3 year old, we played find the letter. We were able to talk about different words that started with the different letters in the bag.
With my 9 month old, I let her hit the bag and grab it. She had a lot of fun exploring with the water.
Have you made sensory play bins or bags? What are your favorite sensory play activities?