Developing healthy sensory integration depends on sensory play to a very large extent. Having toddlers engage in play that stimulates their senses is an integral part of early childhood development.
Here are five easy sensory play ideas to try out with your toddler.
1. Cloud dough
They’re going to love playing with this dough, which only requires two ingredients to make, but leads to hours of fun. The texture resembles other similar products on the market, like Moon Sand. Have your child actively participate when you make it, and let them describe what it feels like between their fingers while they mix it up. Transfer the cloud dough to a tray after making it, give the kids different items to use as moulds, and let them go wild. Because baby oil is a part of the recipe, their hands will be lovely and soft after playing.
2. Make a slimy sensory bag
Fill a zip lock bag with hair gel and other small objects like beads, tape it to a window, and let the kids run their hands over the bag and watch the colours as the sun shines through. It couldn’t be easier.
3. Paint with salt
Let your child use some craft glue to paint a design on a coloured piece of paper, then let them sprinkle some Epsom salts over the design. If they’re using their hands to “paint” the design, even better. Once the glue has dried, you’ll be left with a beautiful crystallised design that the kids will want on the fridge immediately!
4. Slimy colourful spaghetti
Cook one pack of spaghetti until it is al dente. Rinse the cooked spaghetti with cold water to cool it off, and divide into equal parts. Add food colouring to the different groups of spaghetti to turn it all shades of the rainbow, and add some vegetable oil to make it extra slimy. The kids will love playing with this gooey mess, and this is an activity that is best undertaken outside. Give them spoons, ladles, measuring spoons and buckets and let them have free rein.
5. Make art with frozen paint
This is a great activity for hot summer days. Pour water-based paint into an ice tray and let it sit in the freezer for an hour before inserting ice cream sticks. Let the paint freeze completely. Pop the frozen paint popsicles out and have the kids paint with them on pieces of paper. Again, this activity should rather be done outside. Fill a paddle pool and let the kids rinse off in it after the painting session.