Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Sensory play, not just an opportunity to make a big mess!

Time spent playing at the sensory table is always a favorite option around here, no matter the age of the participant.  Our sensory table is changed regularly to provide different experiences - this past weekend we made "snow" and as we rarely get the real stuff,  it was appreciated even more so. Today's "snow" was made with lightly scented shaving cream and baking soda, once mixed together you can form it or play with it loosely.   Not all were impressed at the beginning of this experience, as their tactile defensiveness really comes into play when presented with wet things that stick to your hands.  The benefit of the "snow" was it pushed their tolerances at first but was appreciated more so once the baking soda mixed thoroughly into the shaving cream.

People with special needs may not always be able to process information given to them through one or more of their 5 senses.  By encouraging sensory play we are giving extra time and experiences to develop their senses through a fun way.

While playing with the "snow" we:
Practiced speech and communication skills
Spent hours mixing, molding and building that worked our fine motor skills
Developed cooperation and collaboration skills as we played together
Discovered as we used our senses touching, seeing, smelling, and listening (while we were encouraged NOT to taste this "snow")
Relaxed as it is nice just running your hands through the "snow" especially when it's not the frozen outside variety

After the novelty of this "snow" faded we added new life to this "play" with vinegar colored with food coloring and eye droppers.  With a variety of colors the children were able to experiment with mixing colors while the vinegar and baking soda would react causing bubbles.  Using an eye dropper to add the vinegar strengthened our "pincher grasp" (fine motor skills).


  1. This looks fun! How much baking soda do you nee approx? I think my eldest would struggle with it but it's worth trying, my youngest will love it! I like to do messy play in the bath so we're already in cleaning situ!
    Linking from Let Kids Be Kids

  2. Sounds like a good fun sensory play experience.
    Thanks for sharing with #LetKidsBeKids