Paint, flour, shaving cream, oh my!
I know what you’re thinking. Oh, the mess! While those sensory activities look like so much fun for kids, doesn’t that stuff just get everywhere and make for a heck of a mess to clean up?!
Well, for the most part, yes.
But despite the headache sensory play can sometimes cause parents when it involves liquids, creams and powders of all sorts, there are many learning and development benefits for children that go beyond what meets the eye.
So before you get all worked up over the mess, keep in mind these amazing benefits of letting your child explore different textures, colors and sounds…they might just surprise you!
1. Sensory Stimulation
Sensory play is obviously great for stimulating every one of the senses and keeping children occupied. But the enriched learning experience it provides is equally impressive, as sensory play fosters a child’s ability to complete more complex learning tasks.
2. Calming Activity
If you have an energetic child who needs some quiet or downtime, sensory play provides that opportunity. Whether they’re pouring liquids, sifting through sand or splattering paint about, the experience helps calm little nerves and focus on a task.
3. Fine Motor Development
Those seemingly simply movements like manipulating play dough or picking up beads are crucial for helping your child master things like handwriting, scissor usage and buttoning as they grow.
4. Language and Cognitive Skills
One of the often overlooked benefits sensory play provides is helping children build language, social and pretend play skills, especially with small world play and sensory bins.
A New Sensory Play Experience: Sands Alive!
And I was especially excited when I learned about another sensory activity, Sands Alive!, that would be great for young children like mine to explore.
Sands Alive! is not just sand! The plastic component molds into hard durable shapes with a soft touch. If you’ve heard of kinetic sand, it’s very similar, but will break apart and appear to move, almost as if it were alive!
We had a chance to test out the Glow in the Dark version which added some more excitement with the ability to react in the dark with the UV LED Glasses and light up beyond your belief! This adds a whole other dimension of fun when you’re exploring in the dark!
My son loves exploring the little scientist inside, so experimenting with Sands Alive came naturally. He had fun rubbing the sand grains between his fingers and molding them into different shapes.
Of course he had to try out the UV LED glasses the kit came with – it made the experience even more interesting.
It was another great experience exploring with the senses, even though it ended with a squishy mess after the little one decided to pour a glass of water into the kit — I figure he was just getting into the whole experience and continuing to learn :)!
If you enjoyed this post, be sure to check out some of the sensory activities we’ve had fun with below!
Ana, a mom to three rambunctious little boys, has supported hundreds of thousands of women throughout their pregnancy and motherhood journey since 2012 as a blogger and maternal health advocate at MommysBundle.com.