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So what is sensory play? It is any type pf play that stimulates the senses – that includes sight, smell, touch, taste, hearing and proprioception (body awareness). Stimulating the senses is incredibly important for the way our brain stores information. A good example of how powerful senses can be is when you listen to a certain song or smell a certain type of food and a memory comes flooding in that you haven’t thought about in a while.
Sensory play can be as simple as a bucket of water or having a bubble bath. Or as complex as dyed rice/pasta, play dough, shaving foam, musical instruments.
I know what you’re thinking already… “but sensory play is too messy!”
Sensory play can be messy but it doesn’t have to be wet and sticky. Some kids actually don’t like sticky activities like slime or jelly.
Before I tell you some easy dry sensory play activities, you need to make sure you’ve prepared your environment. If play needs to be indoors, remove any rugs, cover up carpets, or get your hands on a Grace & Maggie play mat – otherwise those little grains of rice and cereal will find their way into every nook and cranny of your house. This makes clean up as easy as a quick vacuum or sweep.
Here are four easy dry sensory play activities that you can do at home that don’t take a lot of preparation and they are nice and dry.
Through these four simple activities, children will develop their fine motor skills for scooping and threading, imaginary and symbolic play, speech and language, problem solving and they will be exposed to new sensations so they can learn more about the world around them.
Show us your sensory play on your Grace & Maggie play mat over on the socials!
By Alex Trichilo
Speech Pathologist and Mum of three