Posted on: 21 August 2017
Sensory play is important in child care because it keeps kids occupied and happy while stimulating all their senses and encouraging them to get curious about the world around them. There's no need to spend a fortune on fancy toys or activity sets as there are loads of amazing sensory toys you can make using bits and pieces you already have lying around the house. Read on for three awesome sensory toys that won't cost the earth.
Make a Sensory Play Umbrella
This one is perfect for younger children and much cheaper than buying an official sensory play tent. Pick an umbrella, preferably a brightly coloured one, and set it up on a soft mat. Next, use string to attach a variety of items to the metal spokes, so that they hang down at different heights. Old CDs reflect the light in a way that will mesmerize kids, particularly when they're moving. Soft toys are fun for kids to grab and hold, and you could use velcro to make a game of this. Different coloured ribbons in a row can create a fun curtain for kids to push through at one side of the umbrella. Get creative and use your imagination - change the items regularly to add variety.
Mix up a Sparkly Sensory Bottle
This is a really fun activity that kids will love helping with. Take a large plastic bottle with a secure lid. Next, add a combination of water, food colouring, oil and craft glue - experiment with different combination to create interesting textures. Finally, pour in plenty of glitters, including sequins, sparkles and gems. Give the bottle a good shake, and you're done! This is a great toy for kids to play with when they need to calm down, as watching the contents rise and fall can be very soothing.
Create Textured Sensory Sticks
Kids love discovering new textures, and like to get their hands into everything. Encourage safe exploration by creating 'sensory sticks', using lolly sticks, glue and different items from around your home. Try unusual smells, like coffee and lavender, interesting textures, like sand and lentils, and interesting items, like grass, leaves and flowers. These sticks are really easy to store, and you could even create a felt pouch with different labelled sections to turn this into a fun matching game for older kids.
Sensory toys are so much fun for kids, and they don't need to cost a lot. Have fun creating these cool DIY toys at home.Share