Sensory play allows children to learn through exploration and enhances their problem solving, curiosity and creativity skills. Which is why it plays such an important role in the development for our kids. And best part? It doesn’t stop once they reach a certain age!
Did you know that when children are able to engage in sensory play it allows for them to build the nerve connections in their brain and encourages their development of language and fine and gross motor skills?
Within the Early Years Learning Framework, this can be found within the principles, practices and learning outcomes. More specifically Learning Through Play, Intentional Teaching, as well as looking at the child as a whole being, not just one aspect of learning at a time, rather their holistic development and the ability to further their learning and knowledge with what we are implementing.
These are my five favourite non-food sensory tub fillers for sensory play!
- Water Beads! These are always a favourite in our house. They are so much fun to scoop, pour and even just to dig your hands in and explore the movement. However, if your little one is mouthing objects, these are not a great choice!
- Cotton Sand. This is beyond brilliant as the kids can explore a different texture and explore motion with their own hands. It is a mix of kinetic sand and slime, and the best part is how easy it is to clean up!
- Fish Tank Gravel & Gems. Washed first, because the colour loves to transfer here! While I have used blues you can grab almost any colours (because fish love colours, right?) and it means that you can explore pouring and filling up smaller bowls and cups with them and watch as your little one experiments with mathematical concepts at the same time!
- Beads! They are such a lovely fine motor invitation and can be found in a range of colours and sizes, which means that they can be used with any age. For the smaller items and younger children, be sure to stay next to the activity for supervision purposes.
- Water! Who doesn’t love a good splash in the water? Again, all those mathematical concepts get to be explored as they pour and fill and move the water with their hands. Plus, with the weather warming up (which I am sure is already Summer for those of us in QLD) it is the perfect way to not only cool down but explore with their senses!