What are sensory activities?
Sensory activities engage the senses: sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell, to stimulate children’s exploration, learning, development and independence. Examples of sensory activities include playing with different textures like sand, water, slime, or listening to music, exploring different scents, painting with different colors and materials, and tasting different foods.
Why are sensory activities good for development?
These activities are not only enjoyable, but they also help with children’s cognitive and physical development. These stimulating activities engage multiple senses and aid in development of sensory processing, which is important for learning, communication, and overall development. Sensory activities can also improve attention, concentration, and fine motor skills. One study showed that encouraging sensory play with fruits and vegetables may encourage preschool children to taste new foods!
Here are some Nanny-tested sensory adventures to try out:
Fill a plastic bin with materials such as rice, beans, or sand and let your kiddos explore with their hands and senses.
Create a fun obstacle course in the backyard or living room using pillows, cones, and other household items.
Fill a bottle with water and items such as glitter, beads, or small toys. Seal it up and let them shake and watch the items move around.
Let them get messy with finger painting, shaving cream play, or even making slime.
Take a walk and encourage them to use their senses to explore their surroundings. Ask them to describe what they see, hear, smell, and feel.
Set up a station where they can smell different herbs, spices, or essential oils and guess what they are.
Sensory “I Spy”
Play a game of “I Spy” where children have to find items of different textures around the house or outside.
Remember to always supervise during sensory activities and choose materials that are safe for the child’s age group. As a Nanny, it’s important to provide early learning activities that engage the senses and promote learning. Not only will the kid’s have a blast, but their parents will be thrilled as well!