Creating an invitation to play is a wonderful way for your little one to explore new textures, shapes, colours and smells. Providing these opportunities is crucial to development and helps build nerve connections in the brains pathways. It can be difficult to know what sort of sensory play to setup, so we would love to share some of our ideas and resources with you for you to incorporate this important type of play at home.
Firstly, you will need a vessel to hold your sensory play materials. We use the IKEA sensory tables, linked here. They are easy to assemble, easy to store and a great way to contain messy play.
Below is a wonderful botanical setup to provide your child with hours of sensory fun.
Depending on your Childs age, interactions with sensory play will vary.
Infants aged 0-12 months will simply love to feel the different textures; screeching the flowers, pressing the playdough, grabbing the flowers and patting the rice.
Toddlers 12-24 months can be offered more purposeful play. They can be shown how to press in the playdough cutters to make shapes, see how they can manipulate the playdough with better fine motor skills, scoop the rice and fill the pots. They also begin to understand the connection that the flowers belong in the pots.
Pre-schoolers can also enjoy these simple invitations. Perhaps let them mix the two trays together and see how their creativity blooms when they have multiple sensory items to integrate into the one play. It will promote fine motor skills, eye-to-hand coordination and cognitive development.