As both parents and educators, sensory play experiences have always been a core component in our learning programs for young children. Not only are they highly engaging, they also provide endless opportunities for exploration, motor and language development, hypothesising, investigating and building brain pathways through the activation of many senses at once. And most of all, they are oh so fun!
Below is a list of resources that you may find useful when setting up a sensory play experience in your own home or classroom environment. The top items are the core pieces that will be sought out and used, time and time again. Many can be purchased inexpensively from thrift stores and some may already be hiding in your kitchen cupboard! We've found having both a large plastic tub for liquid-based experiences, as well as a wooden tray for dry explorations, to be a completely invaluable. This is the water tray we have (linked here), and our wooden tray (linked here) will be back in stock soon.
The lists following are divided into two columns - one giving ideas for base textures (which can be presented in unison with some of the staple items) and the second includes exciting 'extras' that you may like to add to encourage further exploration.
Also check out our sensory and loose parts play tab, which contains many useful resources.
See the video below for a detailed look at our sensory play shelf and the pieces we incorporated... (click the arrows to view full screen)