Last night I attended a sensory play workshop hosted by The Avenue (www.theavenuesupport.co.uk) with Wendy Usher from The Play Doctors (www.theplaydoctors.co.uk) running the training. Wendy has a fabulous job creating sensory play ideas for children, parents, teaching staff etc to use at home and in school. It is clear to see how much she loves what she does and her training session was motivating to listen to. I have come away with an array of ideas to try and my mind is buzzing with projects I want to explore over the half term holiday. Although this could prove to be difficult with our puppy Ludo, currently trying to chew everything within his reach!
Who would have thought that by putting chocolate cellophane wrappers inside a clear cellophane bag like you use to put handmade cards in, would offer different experiences for a child. As well as being visually attractive and could be hung on a child’s window, so that the light reflecting through it can change the colours, it is very tactile and makes a lovely rustling sound. I’m definitely going to make one and it’s a good excuse to buy and eat a tub of Christmas chocolates that are currently stocked in the supermarkets!
If you place different materials inside a balloon e.g. rice/waterbeads/small stretchy toy, you can have a game of catch and listen to the various noises that each object makes. They can be used as musical instruments or a way to get your child’s attention, as they will respond to the sound they make. We all did last night when Wendy used a variety of homemade noise makers to alert us, that it was time to move onto the next item.
Wendy has thousands of ideas that are easy to replicate at home and can be used with objects you generally already have or they are not expensive to buy. The message that we took away from last night's workshop was that the most important aspect of sensory play is that you are having fun with your child and they are leading the play. If the end result is not what you had planned it doesn’t matter, as the experience you have shared together is what counts.
Go and have some sensory fun during the half term break.