Sensory play and multi-sensory approaches to learning have been incorporated throughout many learning opportunities to encourage versatile growth and development. Providing children with an opportunity to learn via tactile, auditory, visual, and even movement input has proven to show faster incorporation and carry-over of skills across environments. Sensory teaching techniques also stimulate learning by encouraging children to some or all of their senses to do the following:
- Gather information about an assignment using both visual information and auditory information
- Synthesize and analyze material
- Solve logic-based problems with multiple perspectives
- Develop and utilize problem-solving skills
- Use non-verbal reasoning skills
- Understand and make connections between concepts
- Store and recall information easily and efficiently
These skills can be cultivated during the summer months as well. The summer provides an array of its own sensory experiences that can be used to promote sensory learning while out of school. Here are some activities for the while family to encourage whole body learning and development.
Sensory play activities for summer:
- Play a game of eye-spy outside! You can make it more of a challenge by using clues of size, shape, or clues of purpose.
- Play pictionary on the sidewalks with chalk, for a tactile and visual experience.
- Enjoy water play. Play a game of slip-and-slide while trying to retrieve an object on the way down; providing sensory play, motor planning and visual-motor integration skills.
- DIY play-doh is great for tactile play and executive functioning skills to follow a recipe.
- Make tactile balloons. Fill balloons with different textures (beans, beads, sand, rice, play-doh, coffee grinds, marbles, water, hairgel, corn starch and water mix) For more fun, place balloons in a tub if water, then guess and write what is inside each one!
- Have a Hippity Hop scavenger hunt.
- Play a game of edible shapes. Gather foods that have distinctive shapes (ex. cheese puff balls, gold fish, marshmallows, starburst, Hershey kisses, pretzel sticks tortilla chips). Blindfold the children playing and have them guess both the shape and the food!
- Create an obstacle course on a playground for motor planning, proprioceptive input and vestibular input. For added fun have your child draw out or write the steps of the course prior to completing it.
- Do Spice painting. Mix white glue with a bit of water to dilute it and add some spices (no hot spices). The activity will provide various aromas and will have different textures when dried.
- Visit the beach and play hangman, tic-tac-toe or write messages in the sand.
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NSPT offers services in Bucktown, Evanston, Highland Park, Lincolnwood, Glenview and Des Plaines. If you have questions or concerns about your child, we would love to help! Give us a call at (877) 486-4140 and speak to one of our Family Child Advocates today!