Children interact with their world via their senses. They learn about their world through their senses. Children create relationships with their environment via
…you get the picture! This happens holistically; on all levels for your child: physically, in their thinking; emotionally; socially and creatively. Providing sensory PLAY for your child just makes good old common sense!
In my perfect world, ALL children would grow up in a place that is beautiful to look at, wonderful to smell, and pleasing to hear; with healthy and healthful foods to nourish their growing bodies. It’d be a place where touch is not just about feeling the difference between smooth and rough. In my perfect world, it would be understood TOUCH communicates how a child’s Mom or Dad–or other family members– feels about them. Parents (and grandparents!) would be mindful of their touch, knowing it communicates how they feel about their kidlets just as much, if not more, than the words they use.
Give your child many chances to use and engage their senses—especially if your child is young—as it will only further their understanding of the world around them.
YES, sensory play can be messy, but the benefits far outweigh any inconvenience in having to do some extra cleaning up!
For example, studies have suggested children who are allowed to PLAY with their food grow into better eaters. Makes sense to me! Investigating, exploring, testing—I mean tasting bits here and there—in a fun and relaxed environment is more conducive to being an adventurous and enthusiastic eater!
Speaking of fun…try the learning activity below!
HANDS-ON LEARNING ACTIVITY
READ: Freddie’s Spaghetti by Charlotte Doyle This is (an old )book you’ll probably have to borrow from the library. The story line: Freddie’s anxious to dive into his plate of spaghetti…only problem is, it’s not ready yet! So, Freddie has to find ways to entertain himself with various toys. He gets so engrossed in playing…naturally!…that his Mom has to get his attention to come eat! It’s a simple and short story for bringing up the topic of patience.
Some of you may know the old folksong, On Top of Old Smokey. It was changed, parodied really, into a much more kidlet-friendly tune: On Top of Spaghetti! Here are the lyrics in case you’d like to begin this activity with a silly song:
On Top of Spaghetti
On top of spaghetti all covered with cheese
I lost my poor meatball when somebody sneezed
It rolled off the table, it rolled on the floor
And then my poor meatball rolled out of the door
It rolled in the garden and under a bush
And then my poor meatball was nothing but mush.
The mush was as tasty as tasty could be,
And early next summer it grew to a tree.
The tree was all covered with beautiful moss
It grew great big meatballs and tomato sauce.
So if you eat spaghetti all covered with cheese,
Hold on to your meatball and don’t ever sneeze. (“ACHOO!!”)
Staying with the spaghetti theme….. A Mountain of Spaghetti Sensory Activity!
Raspberries or blueberries
● Cook spaghetti per instructions on package
● Drain cooked spaghetti
● Add approximately 1-2T olive oil, mix thoroughly
●If not playing with spaghetti immediately, store in air-tight container or plastic bag in refrigerator
OR, for longer periods, in freezer
● When spaghetti is cooled (or thawed) enough, place a good-sized amount on tray
● Let your child explore, investigate, move it around, pick it up–even throw it down!
● Experiment with cool spaghetti noodles and warm spaghetti noodles–how is the experience the same; how is the experience different?
NOTE: Depending on your child’s age, you might have to watch that they’re using their hands to interact with the spaghetti and not trying to eat it too. My grandbaby hasn’t been introduced to foods yet, but I didn’t think that should keep him from experiencing this great sensory activity. It just meant his mother or I had to keep our eyes on him to make sure he didn’t try to ingest the pasta!
●Add some berries into the spaghetti to color the pasta! IF your child is old enough to taste and/or eat a few pieces let ‘em try it!
Let me know if you give this a try! Did your kidlet try to untangle the noodles or weave their fingers through them? Remember to give them the words; helping them describe their sensations!
Yours in Play!