What exactly is sensory play and why do we care about it? It’s quite simple. Sensory play is simply play that involves the five senses: sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. According to Parenting for Brain, “[b]y stimulating your child’s senses, you are helping them develop creatively, socially and emotionally, cognitively, linguistically and physically through simply playing with them.” Early stimulating of these senses helps their brains to develop engaged neural pathways which will enable learning as they grow older. Consider it an investment in their future (and a fun one at that).
Sensory play doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. Many ideas can be put together in a snap using items you already have in your own home. Remember to consider developmental appropriateness as you are deciding which ideas to try. Beans and babies may not mix. Here are some ideas to get the creative juices flowing.
Whether you choose a fancy cork board, or a simple box top, making a baby board will keep your twinzies playing for days. Find things around your house that have lots of textures, colors, and noise to affix to your board. But be warned, your bright babies might pick up how to open that door a little more quickly than you would like. Tag teaming on mom and dad is a favorite pastime of twins!
If you aren’t in the mood to deal with a big mess, sensory bags are for you! All you need is a few gallon size plastic bags, duct tape, small objects, and a viscous substance (think hair gel or paint). Fill the bag with your gel and objects and seal with duct tape. You can even make a travel sized bag with a hook to attach to your TwinGo Carrier for sensory fun on the go! How fun is that?
Whether you make your own or buy a premade pack, play-doh is great fun for all ages. Grab a few objects for them to work with such as rolling pins, straws, or plastic spoons, and they can let their imaginations go wild!
Water play is fun for kids of all ages. All you need is a bucket and some toys and off you go. Add ice cubes and watch them melt for extra fun. Or, infuse the water with scents like rosemary leaves and make it a real sensory experience!
Grab those paper towel rolls from the recycle bin, fill them with noisy objects, and seal up the ends. Your twins will have a blast creating music with their little rain makers!
Rice and beans aren’t just for eating! Fill a box with rice, beans, or other grains of your choice and add in other objects they like. Things like measuring cups, toy cars, trucks, and spoons can entertain them for hours. Monster truck rally anyone?
Kinetic sand has a fun texture and is easier to clean up than regular sand. Fill a kitchen pan up with the sand and some fun toys and your twins will have a blast. Dollar store seashells can really bring the beach right to your living room without the huge sandy mess. Bring on the summertime fun!
As you can see, the sky is the limit for finding ways to play with all five senses. What have you come up with? Please share your sensory play ideas with us. We’d love to see your twinzies in action! Remember to embrace this fun season so that you can truly enjoy watching them learn and grow!