So I started out planning to write my weekly post for what we did for preschool/ tot school for the week. I was looking through pics from this past week and was overwhelmed trying to choose what to add in. I decided I needed to write an extra post just on our sensory play. I’ve been on a sensory kick lately…it is probably partly based on my Pintrest addiction but also greatly based on watching my children overflow with wonder. Until a few months ago I had not been one to introduce sensory activities intentionally. But after trying a couple, I did not even have to read all the posts on sensory benefits…all I had to do was observe my children. Their faces fill with wonder. They are FOCUSED and really into the activities. They are truly engaging their senses and they love it. Now….anything that I put out in a plastic box, they dub as a sensory box and they ask for them daily…multiple times a day.

So on to the fun, mostly random sensory play from this week.

We had crazy amounts of snow hit us over the past week. One storm dropped a foot of snow and then a few days later another one dropped 10 more inches, followed by 2 more inches the next day. The girls loved sitting at the window watching it fall. However, while most of our friends went sledding or trekking through the yard with their little ones, that was not an option for us…at least not this year. MK has chronic lung disease brought on by her prematurity of birth. And due to this terrible viral season, she has developed a chronic cough that she has now suffered from for over 5 months. Outdoor snow play is not an option for us right now. Soooo…I brought in a bucket of snow almost every day…sometimes twice a day. We would put it out on a towel and they would play in their little bucket for 30 minutes to an hour. They made balls, ate it, hid their animals in it, dropped food color water drops on it, made a cave and told stories about animals hybernating in it. This was by far the easiest sensory activity EVER.

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I was about to throw out the roses my wonderful husband gave me for Valentine’s Day as they were on their last leg. In my despair to try and enjoy them for just a few more moments, I pulled off all the petals and put them in a bucket for the girls to play with. This was surprisingly very fun!

We smelled them.

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Rubbed them on our skin to feel them (I taught the girls the word “silky”)

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RJ loved having me drop piles on her hands.

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And then the real fun began when RJ discovered they tear easily, so she proceeded to tear them up into tiny little pieces. MK and I joined in on this and it kept us busy for quite a while. And bonus…when we were all done, our hands smelled so good! Then the fun ended when I caught RJ eating some…not sure if that’s ok or not…she survived anyway!

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I made chocolate scented play-doh this week using this ever-popular recipe and just tweaked it to add several spoons of cocoa powder. (not much for measurements…but I think I added a wee bit too much. It was quite chocolatey!)

1 cup flour, 1/2 cup salt, 2 tsp cream of tartar, 1 tbsp oil. Then add in whatever colors or scents you desire. Mix in saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly until mixture forms a ball that cannot be mixed anymore. Then pull out and knead until smooth.

RJ called it sand, even though it looked more like dirt to me…but that prompted me to pull out some seashells to stick in the dough and we also made imprints with them.

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We also made lots of shapes of cookies and put beads on them. Then we made letters and filled them with long pasta noodles..my hands got too gummy to keep taking pictures at that point though. MK really liked the smell of this one. I’m very surprised no one tried it…I almost did before I remembered it was NOT cookie dough.

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I also had some spaghetti that was left over from a past night’s dinner. I could not think of any way to use it so I was about to toss it in the trash but though it would be a fun squishy activity. The girls kept looking at me like they were going to get in trouble for playing with food. But I encouraged and they quickly dug in. I encouraged them to use lots of words to explain what this felt like to them. Squishy, slimy, stringy, etc.

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And just one more fut activity that was kind of sensory…lots of fine motor. I found this bottle parts cleaning container in the cabinets and was about to toss it as we have no bottles to wash at this stage of life. But I took a second look at the little holes and just knew there had to be SOMETHING we could stick in them. After a scavenger hunt through the school room I came across some hidden pom poms and whala, HOURS of fun!

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All of these activities were really engaging the girls and took no longer than moments to put together. It was more just having a mindset when about to throw something out…what kind of interesting play would they get out of this item?

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