Monday, October 27, 2014

Sensory play: the hidden secret of happy parents?

It is one of the quickest and simplest ways of finding that sweet spot in your day with little ones. The prospect of playing with a new goo or slime or dough is pretty irresistible to those sweet, smart little people in our lives, and will trump just about any other activity—yes, even tv time. Sensory play, to put it in lingo we can all understand, is the bomb dot com. Many are inexpensive and easy to make, non-toxic and often they're reusable. Win win win winnnnnnnn.

Last week I was looking up craft ideas and found Fun at Home with Kids, and this recipe for Pretend Frozen/Melting Ice Cream. I was intrigued, and decided to make some that evening since I actually had all the ingredients on hand.

Today we took our "ice cream" out to our back porch and I let the boys experiment with it and get creative. They had a lot of fun, and I recommend making this stuff if for no other reason than it provides an excellent introduction to imaginative play time. My boys did very little ice cream play, but it soon became mud for their monster trucks and body paint. When they started winding down, I brought out a couple of buckets of water and rags and encouraged them to clean up and wash all their utensils. They worked on that for a while, and then it turned into a naked party, which of course was the best fun of all. We ended it all with an early afternoon bath before snack time and some Reading Rainbow while I fixed supper. (Side note: this was their first Reading Rainbow experience and Seb kept yelling from the living room, "Mom! Did you hear that?!" Oh RR, you're so good.)

Do you have any trusty sensory play recipes or activities? I'm eager to try a version of slime and this playdough next. Here is a huge list of sensory activities and recipes for children—even some for babies! Be sure to let me know what you try, and enjoy watching your little ones explore and have fun!

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