|Posted by sunshine-dayhome on November 21, 2014 at 3:35 PM|
As I am giving a workshop next week on sensory play and messy activities, we have been doing a lot of those in the dayhome. One idea for older children is to offer nutmeg and cinnamon, along with graters and small bowls. If these are set out at the child's level, it becomes an invitation to sensory play. I was honestly startled by how much Kaliana and Kai enjoyed this; they each grated a lot of spice, and we had conversations about where they grow and what we could make using these fresh spices. Though we ended up baking spice cookies together, you could also sprinkle them on milk, cereal, or oatmeal. It is a special treat to allow the child to wrap up their spices in wax paper and take them home to share!
Here at Sunshine Dayhome, the most sensory play we engage in happens though daily activities. For example, raking leaves and shovwlling snow, and then playing in those natural (free!) materials, is sensory play. Cooking, washing berries, scraping out a pumpkin - sensory play. Even regular toy washes is sensory play - and it can be so fun, if you set it out as a car wash or baby doll wash station. This week, outside, the boyts used shovels to excavate wood bricks and remove the ice and snow from everything in the yard. They were so determined in this task!
The simplest sensory exploration uses colour and paper. Whether watercolour painting or drawing on clipboards, children love to make marks in this world. Painting is special here as it happens only once a week, whereas colouring happens each and every day. Offering clipboards supports the child in dramatic play, as well as allows them to take their art to whichever corner of the room they desire. Portable surfaces to write on are highly useful, and they allow the children to spread out m ore than they can at a stationary table.