Sensory activities not only help sharpen your preschooler’s senses, they make for exciting afternoon entertainment. There are many possibilities when it comes to playing and using her senses. Once you have gotten the feel for introducing sensory activities, you may have just as much fun planning them as she will doing them.
1. Sensory Tables
A sensory table offers limitless potential. One week you can have a bucket of beach sand and small dinosaurs or play cars. The next you can have cut-up sponge pieces and marbles. The week after that, you can fill it halfway with water and offer your preschooler different measuring cups and spoons to scoop and pour to her heart's content. You may want this one outside to avoid kitchen flooding.
2. I Spy
Fill an empty 2-liter bottle almost completely with rice and a handful of random trinkets, such as marbles, play coins, jacks, little plastic dinosaurs or any other items that fit through the bottle opening. Allow your preschooler to turn the bottle and try to find the items that are hiding in there. This works as an “I Spy” game.
3. Painted Feet
Read Dr. Seuss’s “The Foot Book” to your child. After you are done, roll out a section of art paper or grab an old sheet that you don’t mind offering up to the cause. Take his shoes and socks off, have him sit on the ground and apply a layer of washable acrylic paint to the bottom of his feet. He may giggle and squirm, so don’t wear your good clothes during this activity. Now let him walk around on the paper or sheet. Wash his feet when he is done and allow the new creation to dry.
4. Homemade Play Dough
Put some old clothes on your child and grab a large bowl. Pour ¼ cup salt, 1 cup flour and ¼ cup water into the bowl. Let your preschooler knead and squeeze the ingredients with her hands until it’s well mixed and doughy. Add a packet of unsweetened Kool-Aid mix for a yummy scent and neat color. Sparkles also add a nice touch to the play dough. Now you have some dough to play and shape. Store the dough in a large resealable plastic bag and discard after about a week or sooner if it dries out or gets moldy.