Why do children play with sand and water in preschool? Sensory play stimulates a child’s senses and facilitate exploration and naturally allow children to use scientific processes while they play, create and learn through investigation and exploration. Sensory play doesn’t have to be just sand or water – it is any activities that stimulate the child’s sense of touch, taste, smell, sight or hearing. The benefits of sensory play extend to motor skills, social skills, language development, cognitive skills as well as problem-solving.
Sensory Play Activities
Here is a list of sensory play activities that have been featured at Things to Share & Remember. Click an image to be taken directly to the post related to each sensory play idea. Check back, I’m always adding more!
Recommended Supplies for Sensory Play
Here’s a list of some of my favorite sensory bin materials:
- Ice cube trays – all sizes and shapes. Great for one-to-one correspondence, filling, patterning
- Jumbo tweezers – safe and develops hand strength, hand- eye coordination, fine motor skills
- Scoops & Tongs – fun for grabbing small objects, fine motor skill development
- Bear Counters – colorful, useable in sand or water. Sort, count, collect
- Plastic long handled spoons
- Kinetic Sand – hours of fun!
- Play sand – a basic. Add tools and containers.
- Water beads – colorful fun!
- Any kind of Toob Toys
- Pom poms – for a little softness and color
- Pipettes – for water play
- Gold Coins – St. Patrick’s Day or treasure sand
- Measuring Set – incorporate some math
- Sand Sieves – sift sand or strain water
- Bug Counters – add to sand, water, shredded paper
- Mini Porcupine Balls – colorful and wonderful texture
- Colorful Wood Beads – sounds so neat!
- Sponges – put in the water table for children to squeeze and develop hand strength