Sensory play is any activity that stimulates a child’s five senses. Sensory play is great for babies and toddlers, as it encourages exploration and problem-solving. Here are a few sensory activities for children under 4:
Sensory bins are one of the most popular sensory activities for small children — and no one sensory bin looks the same. You can find these bins at toy stores or make one of your own with the materials you have in your home. To start, you’ll need a medium-sized container. Most sensory bins contain a base of sand, kinetic sand, playdough, flour, cheerios, or something equally pliable. Line the bottom of your container with a base of your choosing and add accessories. Accessories may include toy trucks or measuring cups — anything that will allow your child scoop, mold, push, or manipulate the contents of the bin.
Remember lava lamps? Such a simple concept, but you could stare at them for hours, right? Sensory bottles are a similar concept: so simple but so stimulating — and another great DIY project for parents. To start, you’ll need a resealable container. This container should have a tight seal, as you don’t want the contents leaking out. Add a mixture of warm water and washable children’s glue to your container. Add glitter, confetti, and food coloring of your choice to the liquid. Reseal the container and give it a good shake. By twisting and turning the bottle, your child can watch as the glitter and confetti floats around in the mixture.
Slime is a popular sensory activity — and for good reason. Slime is squishy, stretchy, and pliable, keeping kids entertained for hours. Like many other sensory activities, slime can be bought at most toy stores, but is also an affordable DIY project. All you’ll need is Elmer’s glue, baking soda, and contact solution. Just add food coloring and glitter based on your child’s preferences! For exact measurements, click here.
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