We kick started our homelearning for the letter S with some Sensory Play. Why sensory play? Because children learn about their world by exploring and experimenting using their senses!
You heard that right: this mother doesn’t make her kids do tracers all the time.
For our first sensory bin, I poured yellow mung dhal beans into an Ikea tray, threw a couple of farm animal toys in it, and let the kids run their own animal farm.
I soon realized, after leaving the sensory farm bin with all three of them for two minutes, that it was a big mistake! They weren’t interested in creating any farm. Oh no no, that’s not what the Kao kids do. They were more interested in raining dhal beans on one another, shoving beans into corners of the house, in one another’s pants and making a happy mess!
And so I learned. This farm activity is clearly not for the littlest one to participate in yet (at least meaningfully) – and I would have to create something for him on his own another time (and be prepared to do some major cleaning after). By the way, he was the one that started sprinkling beans on his brother’s hair.
So we gathered the beans, and I gave Ben and Becks half an hour each with the box to indulge them in some sensory pretend play, and that was more fruitful!
I then concluded their play with some activity sheets of the uses of farm animals and sight words (for four-year-old Ben) for the names of farm animals.
For our second sensory bin, I squirted some shaving cream in a tray and got the kids to swirl some food colours in for some colouring fun.
We used ice cream sticks and started with the colour blue. I threw in their sea creatures bath toys and they had some pretend play fun for a while.
Then I mixed in the colour red. Ben and Becks swirled and were thrilled that their ocean had turned a beautiful purple. They started smearing their palms with the cream and went wild with it. We talked about textures and I got them to describe the feeling of the cream on their hands. We learned the words “silky”, “smooth” and “soft” – all words beginning with the letter S.
We stopped when Ben said, “I feel itchy.” Looks like I probably need to switch to whipping cream the next time we play.
P/S: Find out more about how to create sensory bins and the importance of sensory play for young children from this blog, here. Plenty more awesome ideas!