Sensory play

I’ve been thinking about sensory play – what is it? can I introduce it at toddler group? I don’t know about you but I love the idea of children making discoveries by looking and touching. While I was deliberating about where to start I got to thinking about my own childhood. What sort of sensory play did I experience all those years ago – before anyone called it sensory play.

I think it’s fair to say that as a toddler I had a fair amount of time at home and a lot less toys than my own children grew up with. So my mum improvised. I remember being allowed to play with the button box. It was a actually an old biscuit tin full of buttons – different colours, textures, sizes. Sensory play.

Today it has a name and is maybe organised with more intent – my mum probably gave me the button box to play with because it kept me busy while she got on with the ironing.

So, sensory play at toddler group. Where to begin? We won’t be using buttons as children can easily choke on them. We don’t have sand or water play as there isn’t the space (although in the painting area washing hands is almost like water play sometimes). But, we can have sensory bottles. They are a good place to start.

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I had a lovely time pottering about Pinterest for ideas and these bottles were the result. I used small Oasis bottles. Most were filled with coloured water to about half way and then oil – the yellow oil is vegetable oil and the whiter oil is baby oil. Then I added glitter and bits and bobs – beads, loom bands, pompoms, sequins. Two bottles are plain water and lots of loom bands.

To secure the lids I used super glue.

Thses bottles were a big hit at toddler group – with both children and adults. Lots to see, lots to talk about and wonder about as you watch the bubbles and colours.

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