Sensory play includes any activity that stimulates your young child's senses: touch, smell, taste, movement, balance, sight and hearing. Sensory activities facilitate exploration and naturally encourage children to use scientific processes while they play, create, investigate and explore. Children with Special Educational Needs may have difficulties understanding the different sensations that they receive from their senses, and how to react to them, sensory play is great way to help with this.
Below are some examples of sensory activities that you can try at home.
A sensory bin is a great activity to start with- it’s inexpensive to create and can keep mess contained! To make one, start with a plastic storage tub, a cardboard box, or a cooking tray. Then simply fill with items that have different textures e.g. pasta, rice, shredded paper, sand, water or shaving foam. Let children explore the different textures or use tools like spoons or sand shovels to scoop and pour. You can bury objects your child likes in the bin like plastic animals, toy trucks, or other small things that don’t present a choking hazard.
Simply cook up a batch of spaghetti, drain and rinse with cold water to cool it down quickly.
Divide the spaghetti and add food coloring of your choice.
Add a little vegetable oil, too, to keep the noodles slimy for great sensory play!
Some children can be overstimulated by noise. Children may make louder sounds as a coping strategy. Sometimes children with sensory needs dislike unfamiliar noises, loud noises or specific sounds. It is important to provide children with strategies to manage and help regulate.
Below are some strategies which could be useful: