7 Best Sensory Play Activities for Toddlers and All Kids
Have you ever tried to describe the smell of flowers or the feel of the sand between your toes to your child? Some things just cannot be explained to the kids. They require touching, smelling, tasting, listening and feeling, to truly experience them. These involve the sensory organs and therefore introducing sensory play to your kids at an early age is very important in their overall growth and for brain development.
So, what exactly is sensory play?
Sensory play includes any type of play that stimulates children’s senses: smell, touch, taste, sight and hearing. Stimulating the senses helps children to develop their thought process, language, social-emotional and physical skills.
It also supports brain development, language skils, fine-motor skill coordination and cognitive development.
Why is it important for the kids?
Sensory activities facilitate exploration and naturally encourage the children to use scientific processes while they play. This allows children to refine their thresholds for different sensory information thereby helping the brain to create stronger connections to process and respond to sensory information.
Is that all or there is more to sensory play?
It encourages the development of fine and gross motor skills
Motor skills involve your babies’ movement. The sensory play encourages babies and toddlers to move and participate in play, often using repetitive movements.
- Helps in language development : Touching, seeing, tasting and smelling are all ways children learn to think, feel and compare their environment and the objects with. Using multiple senses stimulates learning and language development. Kids become good at descriptive analysis.
- Forces scientific thinking and math skills : Besides learning the basic math, sensory play supports scientific thinking that involves inquiry, experimentation, researching and investigating. This pushes the child to use their senses to discover new aspects.
- Fosters social interaction : The social interaction enjoyed by children during the play can be a crucial part of knowledge and language development. Sensory play encourages children to share their ideas and impart knowledge and an opportunity to develop alongside peers.
- Sensory rich play is inclusive and independent : Since there is no right and wrong way to engage in sensory-rich play, it encourages inclusion and independence from pre-noted rules and tools. Children with special needs can benefit a lot from sensory play.
- From problem-solving to creativity : Children love to pull, pour, squish, tap, rub, push, sniff, listen, and engage in role play- the sensory play encourages to play with loose parts and think beyond.
- Develops brain and uses all senses : Sensory plays help in building nerve connections in their brain’s pathways, which in turn help your child to complete the complex tasks. All the five senses can be enhanced using sensory play.
- Has a calming effect : Sensory play can be used as a tool to encourage a child who might be a little fussy or sluggish. On the other end, it can also help a child who might have hyperactivity or is restless.
- Helps in learning differences and attributes : When it comes to colour, sensory play helps children discover the differences in colour. Children learn about the attributes of an object, the concept and its senses.
- Perfect for environment, outdoors and inside : The outdoor environment provides a vast wealth of freely available experience for the child's senses. It's best for messy play too. But for sensory play, it’s easily possible to explore messy play inside.
We have put together a collection of some of the best sensory play kits for your kids to play with:
Rainbow Rice Kit : Get your child into the colourful spirit by buying him/her a kit that involves all 5 senses- our all-time favourite rainbow rice kit. Entailing 8 colours of rice [Violet, Indigo, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange, Red] 60 g each, a wooden scoop, a wooden bowl, a rainbow artefact, a child-safe glue and the bottom box. This one kit can empower your kid with developing fine motor skills, strengthening hand eye coordination, by scooping and understanding the concept of colour, capacity and noise on dropping of rice, objects. It also helps children develop a calming effect.
Our play kit combinations come with one promise that it sparks imagination, promotes conversation starters and encourages learning through play.
Pasta Play - Pretend Play Set : Your child’s senses will come alive with our next on the row sensory kit, the pasta play pretend play set. Patterns, sequence, honing of motor skills, colours and constructive engagement- all that this kit offers. Not just that, this Pasta Pretend Play Set is fun and offers constructive engagement for our little toddlers. This kit comprises 4 colours of Pasta, Pasta threading, 5 learning cards, glue and tong.
Clay Dough Power Kit : Help your child explore different scents and texture while creating a small world from our Clay Dough Power Kit. Thoughtfully designed for the little hands, this kit is absolutely child-friendly and safe. It contains coloured clay 70gms each in every colour. It’s taste-safe, toxin-free and perfect for brain development.
Gardening Kit for Kids : This one is a perfect kit for parents who wish to introduce their kid to nature. Offering a holistic gardening kit, this one is a way by which you can connect the child with the habit of growing plants. It entails seeds, gardening tools, metal planters and a metal watering can. This is a perfect game for the outdoors. This sensory kit instils a sense of responsibility and the concept care and growth.
Geoboard Sensory Play : This sensory kit is a wonderful way to learn mathematics, shapes, patterns, structures. This sensory kit comprises wooden board, pegs, rubber bands and pattern cards for references. It’s completely open ended and is a perfect activity for brain development.
Timeless Rangoli Kit : Timeless Rangoli Kit is one of a kind vibrant kit. It is not just safe and vibrant, but this kit has the power to instill a sense of happiness and vibrancy. This set comes with 6 colours, 2 wooden stencils and 1-eco-pencil. This sensory kit strengthens hands muscles, teaches kids about our culture and develops fine motor skills.
Wooden Stamp Dice – Fruits : After deep brainstorming and experimenting, Lattooland invented a wooden stamp dice. Stamp it on a dough or colour it, these wooden stamps are crafted to help kids express themselves. Each side of the cube has a different design that helps create a mark and optimum size. This sensory toy is handy and is a perfect option for a return gift.
It’s Happy-Mess Time Now!
Children can be messy but it’s up to the parents how they make this mess knowledgeable, fun and intriguing by introducing sensory play kits in their lives. It is also an amazing way to have fun with your kids while supporting development.
What is the most appropriate age group for sensory play?
Although sensory play can be introduced at a really young age, it would be best to encourage sensory play from 1-2 years. With age, the level of complexity and items can be increased.
What are sensory bins?
It's typically a plastic tub or container filled with carefully selected materials and objects that stimulate a kid’s senses.