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Sunday, 17 March 2013

15 Big Sensory Activities

When we talk about sensory play we often think of sensory trays, bins full of rice or beans, messy play for little hands to sink into, scoops and cups to pour with, whilst these have many benefits for children we often forget about full body, real life sensorial activities, that come with every day play.

There are a few common things that children do often (or should do anyway!) that provide them with what I call 'big sensory experiences' (I expect there is a better term for this like 'gross sensory' or something...) and these things should be encouraged and made available as often as possible. 

These kind of activities include:
  • Playing at soft play 
  • Playing rough and tumble with a parent or sibling 
  • Jumping on a bouncy surface like a bed (if you allow) or a trampoline, or even a pile of pillows
  • Being tickled 
  • Going in a ball pit
  • Swimming 
  • Climbing trees 
  • Bouncing on a trampoline 
  • Walking on a grown up's feet
  • Spinning around 
  • Playing at the beach 
  • Having a bath 
  • Being carried around 
  • Being thrown up and down [carefully] or spun around by an adult 
  • Going on a parent's shoulders
  • Playing at the park/playground -  
    • swinging 
    • sliding down
    • going on the roundabout 
    • up and down on the see saw
    • bouncing and rocking
    • climbing 

As a grown up you should do many of these things as you can too!! ;)

They allow the child to feel movement, momentum, pressure, weightlessness, impact with their WHOLE BODY, not just their fingers or mouth. These activities can improve mood, well being, health, gross motor development, balance, strength, among many other things.
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