Play is one of the best ways for kids to learn. One kind of play that has been proven beneficial for kids is sensory play, which Goodstart Early Learning defines as “any activity that stimulates a young child’s senses of touch, smell, taste, sight and hearing, as well as anything which engages movement and balance.”
One mom whose kids enjoy sensory play is Katzi Santos, mom of three-year-old twins, and a member of Smart Parenting Mom Network 2020. “Sensory play is a big hit in our home,” she shares in an interview with SmartParenting.com.ph. “My 3-year-old twins always have lots of fun exploring and investigating different types of materials and they just love pouring and scooping different sensory bases.”
Aside from developing kids’ skills, sensory play activities are easy to prepare! Katzi writes, “I love it because it’s easy to set up and I know that I have all the stuff I need to quickly put together a sensory bin readily available at home. How's that for cost-effective? Because of this, I always have a sensory activity set up at home to keep my twins entertained.” (Click here to learn about the benefits of sensory play.)
Below, Katzi shares three of her top sensory play activities and how to prepare them for your tots:
1. Rice Bin
Got some uncooked rice? Use that for a simple activity for your child! Katzi says all you need to do is add a few cups of rice in a deep bin and provide some spoons, funnels, and cups. Then, let your child play with the rice using those tools.
“The first time my twins played with a rice bin, they were only 2 years old and they spent 55 minutes pouring, scooping and later on pretending to sell me some ‘rice juice,’” shares Katzi. “That's a long time for a two-year-old to be focused on one thing!”
2. Play Dough Tray
If your child loves playing with play dough, this activity might be a hit for him. Katzi explains, “I set up simple play dough trays for the twins with loose parts, tools and let them create whatever they want. Since they’re still young, I still have to help them with some of the tools. It’s a great activity that gets the whole family involved.”
3. Water Play
Another kind of sensory play kids can enjoy is water play. “I just fill a huge under-bed storage bin with water and give them pitchers, cups, and empty water bottles. Sometimes I color the water with a few drops of food coloring to make it more exciting. This works both inside and outside the house because I just put lots of towels under the bin to make cleanup easier,” says Katzi, who adds that this activity allows her kids to practice the skill of pouring, which then allows them to fetch their drinks independently (which is more important since they have no yaya at home).