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Facts Every Parent Should Know About Sensory Play

Team StoryWeavers|February 9, 2021|

sensory play

“If we want our kids to have happy, productive, moral lives, we must allow more time for play, not less.” ~ Peter Gray, American Psychology Researcher

Play is necessary for children to explore their world and provides immense benefits. Most parents will agree that children can play with anything and everything around them, be it mud, sand, water, or dough. And that, they can play with these materials for hours! This way of playing is called sensory play. 

In this article, we will cover:

What is Sensory Play?

The book, BTEC National Early Years, written by Penny Tassoni and published by Pearson Publ Oxford Heinemann, talks about sensory play. It is often referred to as ‘play with natural materials’. These materials such as soil, water, or dough help children to focus and that is why sensory play manages to hold children’s attention longer. Sometimes parents may see two children playing alone while glancing at each other occasionally. The way children approach sensory play depends on the materials that parents provide to them, based on their age and developmental stage. Children will play differently with different materials. For example, they will experiment with dough only if they have access to scissors or moulds. 

How To Introduce Sensory Play At Home?

One way of introducing sensory play at home is to create sensory bins. Sensory bins can be made out of containers that can hold the materials required for sensory play and create room for children to play. The book, Exciting Sensory Bins for Curious Kids by Mandisa Watts (published by Page Street Publishing) lists a few things for parents to understand. 

Things To Remember Before Introducing Sensory Bins

  • Avoid materials that can pose a choking hazard
  • Do introduce a variety of materials to stimulates all the senses
  • Ensure that the sensory bins are presented beautifully

Things To Put In The Sensory Bins

Everything that is age-appropriate and suits the developmental stage of the children can be put into the sensory bins. A few examples below:

  • Taste-Safe Materials: Cereals, Different Types of Beans, Flour, Pasta, Rice, Salt, Water, etc
  • Random Things: Bottle Caps, Buttons, Paint, Puzzle Pieces, Straws, Toy Cars, Beads, etc
  • Equipment: Moulds, Tray, Toy Injection, Rolling Pin, etc

To make things interesting, you can make coloured rice, pasta, salt, or dough.

Sensory play helps children strengthen their gross motor skills and fine motor skills. Parents should introduce different textures and encourage them to explore them in their own way. It will surely boost their creativity and imagination. 

Are you excited to introduce Sensory Play at home? Have you done this before? Do let us know in the comments below or drop a line at [email protected].

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About the Author

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Mekhala Joshi

“Me-kha-la!” That happens at least once when she introduces herself to new people. She’s the only ‘Mekhala’ she knows, and she takes a bit of pride in that. She is a quintessential introvert. Mekhala loves tea but cannot make a good cup of tea and often ends up having coffee. She claims that she takes all adjectives as complements unless specified otherwise. Mekhala is an organizational psychologist and psychometrician. She was a class teacher of 36 adorable girls for two years, grade 2 & 3, as a part of Teach For India Fellowship. And has worked as an independent consultant for a couple of years.

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