Sensory play is any activity that stimulates the five senses: touch, see, hear, taste, and smell. This is especially important for kids in the sensorimotor stage as they best learn and understand by experiencing things. So, this kind of play is a good opportunity for us to teach our kids little by little at home using whatever we have in our kitchen. Sensory plays facilitate exploration in the kids because they are an open-ended activity. This means that they can do a lot of things with the play which enhances their creativity and imagination. (Bonus na lang mommies, because they spend a LOT of time in this kind of play so more time for us to do household chores *wink). I’ll be sharing some basics of sensory play and creating your own sensory bins at home.
Sensory bins are a tactile experience in a contained storage such as a storage container. Sensory bins help children understand their bodies and learn about their senses. They learn different textures, temperature and many more. It also helps with language development as parents would describe what is happening and children are able to acquire speech through it. It also teaches them practical life skills such as scooping, filling, transferring, and dumping which helps with their fine motor skills. Lastly, sensory bins help and teaches children play skills such as staying inside the bin, knowing how and what to play, taking turns (if they are playing with other kids)
How to do your own sensory bins:
Choose a BIN. I used a rectangular container with lid which I bought in Japan home. It is also clear and perfect for Enzo’s little hands. I only bought one and just use it every time we have a sensory activity. Tip is choose a container that is the right size for your children, and also a little tall in width so your fillers won’t spill. Wag masyado mababaw mga mommies para madaming malagay sa loob, pero wag din masyado malalim kasi baka di naman maabot ng kids natin.
Next is to choose a FILLER. A filler is what you put inside your container bin. Examples are kinetic sand, water or colored water, water beads, coffee grains, colored pasta, soil, garden rocks, shredded paper. Here are some of my easy DIY fillers:
Third step is to add SCOOPS and other containers to your bin. You can use small cups, strainers, spoons, etc. Put anything that your child can use to manipulate the fillers. I make use of small cups I got from the free taste in groceries, and some of Enzo’s old spoons. I also use Learning Resources’ Helping hands tool. It fits well with Enzo’s little hands to practice his fine motor skills.
Lastly is to think of a THEME. I always incorporate what Enzo likes or is interested in with our sensory activity. Here are some of our themed sensory bins that you could also consider playing with your kids.
A word of caution: Sensory play is a messy kind of play, but it would help your children have an experience on making use of their senses. This is how children learn at their age and it is best to stimulate it naturally. Be prepared for a clean up after but a tip is for you to also include your children to pack away after they play. In our experience, after a messy play, Enzo would look forward to cleaning up his container and taking a shower after. So it is another teaching moment right?
Start building your sensory play basic and show me some of your activities too! Happy sensory playing, playmates!