Sensory activities are those activities that stimulate one of the five main senses: sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch. They help children to experiment and explore the world around them, to become more autonomous and courageous.
Such activities strengthen the child’s self-confidence and develop independence. They are in control of the situation and make decisions. Play is an essential element in the harmonious development of children. For the development of the brain, it is necessary to provide proper sensory stimulation through these games.
Some experts believe that stimulating children should start as early as possible since they begin to use their senses to discover everything around them. However, the ideal age for sensory exercises is 4-5 years. That’s when the little ones become most interested in objects and their characteristics.
Sensory activities must be simple, designed for each sense. Using materials and sensory objects as diverse as possible, you can give your child an opportunity to develop their senses through play.
Many sensory activities can be done with materials that we often already have at home. Thus, there is no need for sophisticated games or toys for the little ones to get involved and enjoy it.
Here are 5 suggestions for sensory activities that you can try with your child.
- Sensory balloons
Take some colorful balloons and fill them with rice, beans, corn, flour, cornmeal. Tie them to secure the filling. They can be easily shaped, stimulating the sense of touch. Children are also attracted to the noises they make. You can try to get the little one to guess the contents based on the sense of touch or the noise produced by each balloon.
- Sensory bottles
Take a few small plastic bottles, preferably transparent. Fill 3 quarters of them with water and 1 quarter with oil. Then add different small objects: beads, buttons, glitter. You can also try adding a few drops of food coloring.
Once you have created the mixture for each bottle, turn them upside down and shake them so that the liquids and objects move inside.
- Foam painting
Mix some shaving foam with food coloring and let your little one be as creative as possible! Encourage them to “paint” with the colored foam on surfaces inside the house that can easily be cleaned.
- Sensory bags
Fill a few sealable bags with hair gel, then add small objects that fascinate your little one, just like in the example of sensory bottles. Then, you can play games to sort the objects in each bag by categories, sizes, or colors.
- Ice drawing
Pour water into ice cubes molds, add food coloring, then put them in the freezer. After the water has frozen, remove the cubes from the mold and let your kid “draw” with them on white sheets. With the watermarks left by the melting cubes, your little one can create some very creative paintings!
Remember that it is very important to look after your child when doing the activities presented above.
If the weather outside is beautiful, we recommend that you dress the little one in comfortable kid’s clothes and go outside to play.
Aside from providing sensory stimulation to children, these toys are also an opportunity to spend time with parents and connect with them. Our role as parents is to raise and prepare balanced, confident, curious children!