Everyday sensory play in preschool

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Inspiration for sensory exploration in your classroom!

Sensory play is an important part of early childhood development. It lets children explore and learn about their world through what they do best – play.  We do lots of different kind of sensory play in preschool and I thought I would show some of the materials we have used this year so far…

Embrace the Mess

As much as children love sensory play – adults tend to dread it.   Sensory play can be messy and a daunting task for adults to keep up with.  So the key is to approach sensory play with the right mindset. First, it is important to remember that children learn best when they can actually touch, see, smell, taste, hear, and manipulate the materials in their world…

Scooping and Pouring

As children scoop up seeds or rice or other small items and fill up a container, they are discovering how much that container can hold before it overflows.. Sensory play promotes spacial awareness, mathematical thinking, and scientific exploration and discovery…

A Relaxing Experience

Sometimes sensory play is simply a great way for children to relieve their stress. Sensory play can be very soothing and relaxing to a young child…

Building Fine Motor Skills

Sensory play is also a great way to foster fine motor development. Rolling and cutting up play dough or scooping and pouring water and beans all involve eye -hand coordination and fine motor control.  In the process of playing with these materials, children are building the skills and muscles they will need for handwriting and other more formal educational processes down the road…

Using a Variety of Materials

Sensory play can involved just about any kind of material you can think of from sticks and leaves to water, playdough, goop, beans, rice, pasta, paper, straws, and the list goes on. If it can be put in a tub along with a few tools for play and the freedom to explore and manipulate, then it can be used for sensory play…

Adding to the Sensory Experience

Adding tools for sensory play is always a must. We have an entire shelf of baskets filled with cups, laundry lids, shovels, measuring spoons, tweezers, magnifiers, and other items. We rotate the items frequently and the children use those items in the sensory tubs. It is more fun to scoop up pasta and pour it from one container to another than just to have a container of pasta. Tools for play help make sensory play more interesting and engaging…

Offering a Variety of Sensory Experiences

We have some sort of sensory play out for the children just about every day.  There is rarely a day that we don’t have a sensory tub or some kind of sensory activity out for the children to explore.  On most days, we even have more than one kind of sensory activity for the children to choose from…

I set out materials and tools for sensory play in a variety of ways. Sometimes, I set the materials out in trays and other times I use tubs. By giving the children a tray or tub, they have their working space to explore…

Exploring Sand and Water

I also have a water and sand table that we rotate items for sensory play in…

Using their Imagination

Just because you use a material once, doesn’t mean you can’t use it again. Children don’t mind playing with the same materials many times over. Each time they use the materials, they will invent new ideas for play and imagination…

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Deborah J Stewart

Deborah J Stewart

Every time I think I know everything I need to know about teaching young children, God says, "Hold on a minute!" and gives me a new challenge.

Let me tell ya...

With each new challenge that you overcome, you will find yourself better equipped and more passionate about teaching young children.

God didn't call wimps to lead, teach, or care for His children. Nope, he has high expectations, so get ready. You will have to give your very best but after teaching for over 30 years, I can tell you that it is a wonderful and rewarding journey.

Whenever your calling feels hard, just remember, 'He who began a good work in you (and in the children you serve) will be faithful to complete it.'

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