Everyday sensory play in preschool

by Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. on November 6, 2011

in Everyday In Sensory Play, Powered by Play, Sensory Play

Sensory play is an important part of early childhood development. It lets children explore and learn about their world through what they do best – play.  We do lots of different kind of sensory play in preschool and I thought I would show some of the materials we have used this year so far…

As much as children love sensory play – adults tend to dread it.   Sensory play can be messy and a daunting task for adults to keep up with.  So the key is to approach sensory play with the right mindset. First, it is important to remember that children learn best when they can actually touch, see, smell, taste, hear, and manipulate the materials in their world…

As children scoop up seeds or rice or other small items and fill up a container, they are discovering how much that container can hold before it overflows.. Sensory play promotes spacial awareness, mathematical thinking, and scientific exploration and discovery…

Sometimes sensory play is simply a great way for children to relieve their stress. Sensory play can be very soothing and relaxing to a young child…

Sensory play is also a great way to foster fine motor development. Rolling and cutting up play dough or scooping and pouring water and beans all involve eye -hand coordination and fine motor control.  In the process of playing with these materials, children are building the skills and muscles they will need for handwriting and other more formal educational processes down the road…

Sensory play can involved just about any kind of material you can think of from sticks and leaves to water, playdough, goop, beans, rice, pasta, paper, straws, and the list goes on. If it can be put in a tub along with a few tools for play and the freedom to explore and manipulate, then it can be used for sensory play…

Adding tools for sensory play is always a must. We have an entire shelf of baskets filled with cups, laundry lids, shovels, measuring spoons, tweezers, magnifiers, and other items. We rotate the items frequently and the children use those items in the sensory tubs. It is more fun to scoop up pasta and pour it from one container to another than just to have a container of pasta. Tools for play help make sensory play more interesting and engaging…

We have some sort of sensory play out for the children just about every day.  There is rarely a day that we don’t have a sensory tub or some kind of sensory activity out for the children to explore.  On most days, we even have more than one kind of sensory activity for the children to choose from…

I set out materials and tools for sensory play in a variety of ways. Sometimes, I set the materials out in trays and other times I use tubs. By giving the children a tray or tub, they have their working space to explore…

I also have a water and sand table that we rotate items for sensory play in…

Just because you use a material once, doesn’t mean you can’t use it again. Children don’t mind playing with the same materials many times over. Each time they use the materials, they will invent new ideas for play and imagination…

 






Everyday Sensory Play

 

Every Day Sensory Play Linky

Do you have a sensory play post to share with us? Then check out the linky below..

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This article is being shared with you by Deborah Stewart of Teach Preschool - Sharing the wonders of early learning in action!

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