Children grow through all of their senses, and sensory play is an essential element of their development. Sensory activities help children develop fine motor skills, gross motor skills, problem-solving skills, language skills, and social skills. And all of this in the context of play, exploration, experimentation, creativity, and concentration.
What is a Sensory Activity?
A sensory activity is an experience that involves the child’s senses: sight, sound, touch, taste, smell, movement, and balance. Some examples are building with play dough, sifting flour, squeezing wet paper, sorting beans, and pouring water.
Why Sensory Activities are Great for Kids
Children learn through all of their senses. All children: toddlers, preschoolers, and children with sensory processing disorders can enjoy and learn from sensory activities. Introducing your child or students to sensory activities is easy to do, fulfilling (because children love it), and helps children develop cognitive skills.
Sensory Activities are Good for Parents, too.
Not only are sensory activities amazing for kids, but they can be a lifesaver for parents and caregivers. Because children can be wholly immersed in squishing play dough or sifting through rice, it can free grownups to pause for a cup of tea or tackle a load of laundry. I often set up a sensory activity in the late afternoon when my kids are squirmy and my energy is low, and everyone wins!
These are some of our favorite sensory activities for kids and we hope you’ll find some fun ideas to try now. Or, pin or bookmark this page to save these ideas for later.