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The Open School of Creative Arts

The Open School of Creative Arts
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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.

Have you signed up for our E-workshop, Connecting Families through Creative Play yet? 

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  1. Great ideas! Stopping by from Eco Kids blog hop. Will definitely have to try some of these with my kids.

  2. I forgot to mention, these things are great for "sensory seeking" types of kids.

  3. Such simple pleasures! I remember doing so many of these with my own boys when they were little. We forget, as our kids get older, how thriling some of these activities are to little ones. Thanks for the reminder, Kat.

  4. Great post - you're right sensory is not just trays!

    I would love for you to link up this - and your other sensory play posts - at the Sensory Play link up on Empty Your Archive, Alice @ Mums Make Lists x


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