5 Tips for Successful Sensory Play
Overwhelmed by the idea of sensory play?
Well, let me help you feel confident and set yourself up for success. Fist off, let me start by saying that sensory play doesn't have to be messy. There are plenty of ways to play with items that limit the mess and with the tips below you should have a better understanding of how I set up sensory play with my kids.
1. Set sensory play expectations:
- This is where you are going to let your children know what you expect from them and set the standard of how you will complete sensory play. I have done this from the beginning with my kids and now they know exactly what I expect and even set up their own sensory play area now!
- Designating an area for sensory play.
- Instructing them that all sensory items stay in this area.
- No mixing sensory dough (if that bothers you) or any other expectations you have.
2. Use a sensory play mat or tray.
- A sensory mat like this is perfect size for your little one.
- This helps keep items in designated area & makes for an easier clean up.
3. Start small...
- I never offer all three jars of dough at once, unless you don't mind the colors mixing (which is totally fine). I give them a small amount from one until they are used to it and I feel I can let them have two colors and they will understand we don't mix the colors. It will happen that some will mix, and that is okay, I just put that small amount in a ziplock back. This way you still have tons left in your jar that is unmixed.
- Give small amounts of dough or even just 1 color at a time.
- Slowly introduce items from sensory play KIT vs. all at once.
4. Keep set-up near you.
- Setting them up near you helps you monitor the play and guide them on your expectations as necessary. Obviously, we want them to have fun and play freely, but we want to keep the sensory play expectations present. It will become second nature at one point.
- Play with them OR set it up next to where you are cleaning or doing your tasks.
5. Clean & Store Away.
- We have a designated area for sensory play in our kitchen pantry. It is a low shelf where my kids can easily reach for their sensory items. I do rotate out sensory kit and items to keep interest and also to keep it from being overwhelming with too many choices.
- Having them help organize items back in their place.
- Use dough to pick up loose dough or glitter from mat.
- Wipe rollers & mat with a damp towel or rag.
- Store sensory play items away for easy access for the next time.
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Next month we have the cutest little sensory box with our Fall Time Fun Sensory KIT going out on November 1st.