Providing opportunities for children to actively use their senses as they explore their world through sensory play is crucial to brain development because it helps to build nerve connections in the brain’s pathways. This leads to a child’s ability to complete more complex learning tasks and supports cognitive growth, language development, gross motor skills, social interaction, and problem-solving skills. Not to mention, sensory play is FUN, which is one of Educational Playcare’s Core Values.
We want all of our families – those in attendance and those who are at home – to still be able to enjoy fun, educational activities with their children. Below are fun, easy sensory play recipes and activities families can enjoy right at home.
1. Yogurt Playdough –
What you’ll need: Yogurt – vanilla or flavored for smell, cornstarch
Directions: Mix together 1 cup of yogurt and 3/4 cup of cornstarch. When the mixture is no longer sticky, pick it up and roll the putty into a ball to further mix the yogurt and cornstarch. If it is too sticky, sprinkle additional cornstarch. If it is too dry, add a little bit more yogurt.
2. Kool-Aid Playdough –
What you’ll need: 2 cups of flour, 1/4 cup of salt, 1/2 cup of warm water, (1) 3 oz package of any flavor of Kool-Aid, 1 tbsp of cream of tartar, 1 tbsp of cooking oil.
Directions: Add all dry ingredients to a bowl. Pour 1/2 cup of warm water into the bowl and mix. Add oil and knead with hands.
3. Taste Safe Sand –
What you’ll need: Oatmeal, rice cereal, or cheerios, yellow food coloring
Directions: Add a few drops of yellow food coloring and mix. Add trucks, cars, or other theme related materials!
4. Taste Safe Kinetic Sand –
What You’ll need: 1/2 cup of flour, 1/2 cup of cornmeal, 1 tbsp of oil, 1 tbsp of corn syrup
Directions: Combine the cornmeal and flour together. Add the corn syrup and oil and mix together. This should have a similar effect like kinetic sand.
5. Modeling Clay –
What you’ll need: 1 ½ cups of cornstarch, 1 cup of school glue, 1 tbsp of baby oil
Directions: Mix all ingredients together to make an air-dry clay
6. Sensory Table Filler Ideas – Colored rice, colored pasta, water beads, water and ice, bubbles, Cheerios, dirt and toys.
7. Sensory Walk – Lay down different textures such as bubble wrap, a bamboo beach mat, a fuzzy blanket, craft paper, etc.) Place toys on the other side of the “trail” and encourage children to crawl through the different textures to get to the toys.