Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Sensory fun at home! Easy, fun, great activity for a toddler.

 So I decided to ease up on posting every day in our mag. I wouldn't want this to become all about my life with my kid, but I still feel that there is a lot to share. That's why I decided to post a summary of our sensory activities, selected ones that I've documented so far.

Santino's sensorial activities have been mostly tactile these days, with a few occasional auditory, visual, and thermic. I haven't been documenting much of these other experiments, but he has learned to discriminate by size, length, weight, loudness, color, even edibility. With the tactile activities he uses his small muscles, just the hands, and sometimes the tips of the fingers, and that allows him concentrate his attention on sorting, touching and feeling. He has his preferences and often starts off not wanting to touch another funny messy substance mommy pulled out for him. After some time he accepts the new tactile sensation, and this helps him learn his likes and dislikes, helps him classify his experiences and learn about the world around him.

The ideas, inspiration and terminology came from Montessori school. While it is the most popular type of schooling nowadays for the preschoolers and elementary students, the sensorial activities are applicable for children of all ages. Though use your judgement on what is safe for your child (I'm not suggesting giving some playdough to your newborn, and a bunch of tiny beads your 1 year old). And always, always exercise caution and supervise closely!

Out of the sensory activities that I've published on my blog so far, here is my top 5.

1. Homemade finger painting.

I loved this activity because not only it was a great sensorial fun for Santino and Kate, but also an artistic experiment, giving the kids an opportunity to play with colors the way they wanted, even if it meant painting on their own hands and tummy instead of the paper. Check out here the full report.

2. Christmas sensory bin.

This one was a fun one, as Santino got to play with some Christmas decorations, let him practice his fine motor skills and introduced him to a regular sensorial play. From that point on I've been trying to create and encourage at least one sensorial play a day. See the post here.

3. Flour and water.

This is an awesome simple activity that in its simplicity was great, allowing Santino concentrate on something for a long time. Read here.

4. Cloud dough.

Another activity with flour. Also, very simple to arrange, and so captivating for a toddler! Here's my report.

5. Homemade playdough.

This was an equally guided and child-led activity. I was sitting next to Santino, explaining how the prints work, how the playdough texture allows to mold it into shapes. He would take what I said and immediately put it to use, only the way he thought it would be fun, not my way. Check this post here.

I would so recommend these activities at home! They are very easy to organize, easy to explain, give something to do to your toddler and make you (mom) feel great about yourself, because you let your child play and learn and it will give his/her brain such a boost!

This is a review of only 5 activities, but the rest of our sensory play was as much fun! See all posts under "sensory" tag here.