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Category Archives: Sensory

Top 10 Fun Sensory Activities to do at Home

 

1. Water Play: taking a bath, washing babies or Legos in the sink with soap wash clothes and water.

2. Shaving Cream: you can do this on a cookie sheet or even during bath time put some on the surround of the bathtub. You can make it bathtub paints by using a muffin tin, put shaving cream in each and then mix a drop of food coloring in each, add a paint brush and they are ready to be Picasso in the tub.

3. Play Dough here are a couple of our favorite recipes http://www.prekinders.com/play-dough-recipes/, add more to it by just adding a drop of lavender oil or even add a little sand for texture.

4. Sensory Walk: I love taking sensory walks this time of year, go outside and listen, look, touch, taste (edibles only) and smell. Then talk about each of the items.

5. Cloud Dough: mix about 4 cups of flour to ½ cup of oil and mix, put it a plastic tub with spoons, measuring cups and you have fun for hours

6. Sensory Bottles: clean out small old pop/water/juice bottles and add water, food coloring and a little vegetable oil, popcorn kernels, water glitter and oil, beans or whatever you can fit in the bottle. Take a glue gun and put some in the cap and screw it on quickly.

7. Remove a Sense: use a blindfold to focus on using other senses as they move around the room

8. Walk inside and outside with no socks on

9. Dirt Play/Sand/Mud Pies: go outside and give your child old pie tins spoons and cups and their imagination will run wild.

10. Colored Rice or Noodles: super easy a little planning ahead for a lot of fun: you will need 1 large bag of rice cheaper the better, you can use either vinegar or rubbing alcohol, food coloring, gallon bags, and a cookie sheet or two. I put two cups of rice in each bag along with 1 tsp. of rubbing alcohol. Then add a generous amount of food coloring mixing colors if needed to get the right color. Seal the bag and shake, squish, and smoosh until all the color is distributed evenly. The smell of the alcohol/vinegar goes away once it is fully dried. Another variation of this is to cook the noodles with a couple tablespoons of vinegar and food coloring and drain it let it cool and then let the children explore.

 

It’s good to get messy!

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Many people shy away from attempting art with infants for a number of different reasons. The excuses offered most frequently are that an infant will eat the paint, and that it will make too big of a mess.

i won’t argue with the fact that it will probably get messy, but I’m sure that you can tell by now that we believe that you can learn a lot from making a mess. Today I want to tackle that other excuse. Just because infants and toddlers are known for eating nearly everything that they come in to contact with ( age appropriate exploration of their surroundings), does not mean that they need to be kept from certain forms of artistic expression. 

There is a large variety of non-toxic paint available, that is perfectly safe for infants and toddler to use, and while ingesting it will never be recommended, it certainly will not harm the child. However,I have always been an advocate for DIY solutions, and many of the following ideas may help you feel more comfortable with the idea that infants explore and learn using all of their senses, even taste.

There are a ton of recipes available for edible paint, look it up on Pinterest, but you don’t need a recipe to help the youngest children explore art and their senses safely, just take a look in your pantry. Any food items that you can add food coloring to can realistically be used as paint. Here are some of our favorites:

Water (think water colors)

cool whip 

frosting

pudding

Corn syrup

baking soda and water or cornstarch and water mixtures

sweetened condensed milk

these are just a few ideas that are perfectly safe for little ones to paint with, and each provides its own, very different sensory experience for their fingers as well. While we encourage you to try out some of these ideas yourself, please remember that food coloring, when used in high concentrations, will stain. We suggest using as little pigment as possible to color your paints, and painting in an area that is okay to get messy, like a high chair or kids table on the patio.

Sensory Sanity

We do a lot of sensory activities, which means that we use A LOT of sensory materials.  Making sure that we have everything that we need for an activity is important.  No one wants to disappoint a room full of preschoolers who just want to make flubber!

The best solution the we have found for cataloguing our supplies, is also the best solution for storing them. We use Rubbermaid Kitchen containers to store supplies.  Not only do these keep the supplies fresh, and the critters away, but they are clear, so we can always see what we need more of.

The containers are available in a number of different sizes, so that you can store and entire bag of flour, or a single carton of baking soda.  They range in price from 3.99-9.99 depending on size, and completely worth the investment.  We’ve all had the avalanche of Ziploc bags, we consider these an essential!

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