Our children’s sensory education begins at birth as they look at us, taste mummy’s milk, find comfort at our nurturing touch. They explore the world through their senses. Therefore it is important to continue to develop our children’s sensory awareness.
In a Montessori environment, a whole area is devoted to sensorial activities. Even if we don’t have the specific Montessori materials in a home environment,it is possible to educate young senses through sensory bins/trays.
Here are some sensory play ideas that we enjoy:
1) Salt Tray
Salt tray is a great way to develop pre writing skills. Children can trace the sandpaper letters and try writing their ABCs on the sand. Even if you don’t have sandpaper letters, they can gain from drawing lines on the sand.
2) Oatmeal Mixture – Simply put some oatmeal and water in a bin. It gets creamy as it is mixed and children enjoy playing with it.
3) Seasonal Bins – For winter you can use shaving foam and polar bears,penguins etc., for fall you can use leaves, acorns, pine cones. You can make an Easter theme with cut grass, fluffy chicks, plastic eggs and other props.
4) Fill the bin with soapy water, add a brush and a sponge and prepare a bath for dollies or cars. Bathtime sensory might be the most perfect sensory experience for kids!
5) You can prepare coloured rice or simply add other grains or pulses like wheat, black beans, harricot beans. Add funnels, cups and scoops and let the fun begin!
It is a good and practical idea to spread a sheet under the tray or table to make cleaning easier afterwards. Always supervise your toddlers who can mouth the objects.