If there’s one thing that we can all agree on, it’s that young children can be fountains of energy. Because of this, finding ways to keep them occupied and entertained at home may be a bit of a struggle. If this sounds familiar, then you’ll be happy to know that many parents feel the same wayyou’re not alone!

Have you ever wondered how your child’s teachers do it at the childcare centre? We wanted to share some of our best-kept secrets of the trade with you to keep your child entertained with easy sensory play ideas at home.

The Benefits Of Sensory Play 

If you really want your child to be engaged in an activity, you’ll want to explore sensory play. What this means is that the play is grounded in engaging your child’s senses (smell, sight, hearing, touch, taste). In addition, it also covers balance, spatial awareness and movement.

Babies aren’t born with fully developed senses, and engaging in sensory play is a way to develop their senses, with each experience building a new nerve connection, growing the mind and the brain.

Sensory play aids brain development, cognition, adaptability, awareness, comfort, language development, motor skills, problem-solving, creativity, and social and emotional development.

Sensory Play Ideas At Home

1. Home-made Play Dough

Playing with play dough is an ideal exercise to develop your child’s fine motor skills by learning how to roll, twist, squeeze and build. The best part is that it’s very affordable and incredibly easy to make using a tried and tested recipe.

2. Gardening

Letting your child help in the garden is a fantastic exercise to get them outside. They will learn how to dig, lift, carry, push, sort, plant and more. Gardening is one of the best activities to develop your child’s motor and critical thinking skills.

3. Sensory Bins

You probably already have a ton of items around the house that can be used for sensory play. Why not gather them all into one sensory bin? Start in the kitchen because this is where you can utilise foods like rice, dried beans, lentils and pasta. I’m sure we can all remember making a pasta necklace at some point.

4. Potato Printing

Children may have fun printing different shapes and sizes using vegetables as stamps, and it’s also a cheap and original method to construct your own playthings. You can carve out different shapes in the potatoes and dip them into a bit of paint. Allow them to create a potato stamping masterpiece at home.  

5. Paint With Water

If your garden has a patio, brick wall, or paving stones, you have a blank canvas waiting for you to paint on. Give your child a roller or a little brush and some water, and let them loose to paint.

6. Chalk Art

This is a wonderful exercise for your child to express their imaginations, all while learning healthy emotional, cognitive and social development. In addition to this, it’s also a very relaxing activity.

7. Play With Bubbles

Children are fascinated with bubbles, which can inspire them to play imaginatively and marvel at the magic. Getting kids to chase bubbles from a bubble machine is a terrific physical activity as well. Encourage them to grab the bubbles and handle them as delicately as they can.

8. What’s Hiding In Our Jelly?

Start by making your own jelly. Teaching kids how it sets in the fridge and how to add juice and fruits to it is fun in and of itself. After that, you can begin your activities. Expect a lot of excitement and messy play as you explore touch, sight and possibly even a little taste!

Childcare Professionals Who Understand The Benefit Of Sensory Play The Owl and the Pussycat Preschool is a family-owned and run quality preschool education centre. We’re passionate about setting children up for the best future possible. Our focus is on play and interest-led learning. If you’re looking for a childcare centre in Warriewood or Collaroy Plateau, book a tour at The Owl and the Pussycat Preschool today.