Thursday, August 15, 2013

New Sensory Activities

So lately I've been trying to come up with new ideas for ways to entertain Knox that allow him to both learn, and use his imagination.  I don't want him just propped in front of the TV all the time, and I didn't want to spend a fortune on more toys with lights and sounds (that annoy me) and do the "imagining" for him.  So I did some research and kept finding articles about Sensory Play for toddlers.  Basically, the reason toddlers are always getting into things is because everything is a new experience for them, and their "exploring" and getting into things is how they learn.  So sensory play provides lots of colors and textures and activities that safely let them explore how things work.  The problem I'd had with sensory play in the past was that all of the activities seemed messy - like having your child "clean" your cabinets with foam - and that just doesn't work for me.  Doesn't sound like much fun for me to have to clean up a giant mess afterwards.  So I found some sensory activities that are "Lorin Approved" (read: clean and fun!). 
My supplies!  To list a few: finger paint that we will put in a zip lock baggie and let him smoosh  around, sensory bottles filled with different things (like glitter and water, oil and colored water, soap and colored water, etc.), pipe cleaners to stick through the holes of a collander, dried black eyed peas to feel and measure with the measuring cups, puff balls and jingle bells to measure and sort in a muffin tin, contact paper to stick pre-cut construction paper shapes on, and velcro popsicle sticks to stick and un-stick.  Lots of things to keep a toddler busy!
I also made colored rice to put in another sensory bottle for him to shake. 

Just woke up from his nap... and not quite sure what to think about all the new "toys".  (He's like me and needs about 15 minutes to wake up before you start talking to him.)

Playing with the "slime bag"!  (Hair gel and food coloring in a zip lock, taped to the window.)  I thought he'd love the smooshy texture, but he didn't really care for it!
Checking out the sensory bottles...

Pretending to take a drink!  (No worries - I hot glued all the lids on.)

Sorting puff balls into the muffin tin.  He could have done this all day!

Overall, I think Knox really enjoys all of his new "toys".  I've been trying to keep them seperate from his other toys so that it seems like a treat when I pull these out.  So far it's working!  To be honest, I think I had as much fun feeling crafty while making these toys as he's had playing with them.  :) 

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