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Parental Arts

5 DIY Sensory Play Ideas

It’s a challenging time to say the least and we know many parents are struggling to find meaningful ways to engage their children at home. With that in mind, we partnered with child development expert and founder of Rose & Rex, Allison Klein. Allison holds a dual M.S.ED degree in Early Childhood and Childhood Education from Bank Street College of Education. She has studied the importance of imaginative play on early childhood development, and later applied this research in pre-k classrooms where she worked. In this six part series, Allie will cover everything from making your own playdough to practicing mindfulness as a family. First up, Allie shares five simple ways to engage your child in sensory play.
Written By
Allison Klein
For young children, open-ended play is the single most important tool available to help develop cognitive, physical, social, and emotional skills. Play experiences help children learn to make sense of themselves and the world around them.

Parents can support meaningful play experiences in many ways, from engaging in one-on-one play with children, to using play as a communication strategy, to being intentional about the toys offered in the home.

Children, especially young children, learn about the world through their senses. Engaging in sensory play is one of the best ways to keep children engaged and learning at home. Here are a few ideas:

1) Make frozen paint popsicles! Use an ice cube tray and popsicle sticks to freeze paint (child safe paint, of course!). Use them to paint once they're frozen and as they defrost the paint will look and feel different.

2) Have a colorful bubble bath. Combine 1 cup of children’s shampoo + 1.5 cups water + teeny, tiny amounts of food coloring. Essential oils are a bonus!

3) Gather some household objects and head to the bathtub to play sink or float.

4) Cover a baking tray in shaving cream. Invite your little one to write letters, explore with kitchen tools or simply feel and explore.

5) Create a sensory bin by filling a large container with sensory materials like rice, pom poms, or found natural materials.