Engaging in sensory messy play offers an excellent means for children to refine their fine motor skills and become adept at using various tools. This activity can also serve as a versatile platform for developing a range of essential learning skills. Below, you'll find several ideas to sensory play at home:
Exploring Rice, Pasta, Dry Cereal, etc.:
Begin by pouring rice, pasta, or dry cereal into a bowl or tray. Provide cups, spoons, scoops, sieves, and other suitable tools from your kitchen. Encourage your child to explore the messy play tray by touching, scooping, filling containers, and pouring their contents back out. This hands-on approach fosters the development of fine motor skills and teaches them the purpose of using different tools.
While participating in this activity, your role is to play alongside your child and demonstrate new actions and explorations. Your child may not necessarily mimic you immediately, but by presenting diverse ideas for what they can do, you encourage gradual experimentation.
Additionally, you can introduce key vocabulary to describe the actions. For instance, counting while dropping pieces of pasta into a bowl, or using words like 'full,' 'empty,' 'in,' and 'scoop' as your child fills and pours with containers. This not only enhances their language skills but also provides practical understanding. A chat board with key words and symbols is included to support their play, but focus on words that align with the activities they choose.
Exploring Shredded Paper:
Shredded paper offers a tactile sensory experience. You can enhance this activity by hiding their favorite toys within the paper for them to discover. Alternatively, consider adding shapes, numbers, or toy animals for them to find and identify. When they unearth an item, you can verbally name it for them. If they're capable of matching items, you could hide pairs of items for them to seek and match.
Cornflour presents multiple options for messy play activities. If you have a wide, shallow tray or a large plate, sprinkle the dry cornflour and employ a paintbrush or fingers to create mark-making activities. Demonstrate various mark-making techniques, such as moving up and down or forming circles. Some children may even attempt to replicate letter shapes.
For a slightly messier but entertaining approach, add some water to the cornflour, maintaining a ratio of about half as much water as flour. When you squeeze the wet cornflour, it transforms into a solid state; releasing your grip allows it to drip and flow. This feature makes it a delight to use with whisks, colanders, and spoons, expanding the scope for creativity and exploration.