sensory-play

Dragon Water Play – A Sinkful of Sensory and Imaginative Fun

While water puts out a dragon’s fire, dragons sometimes live in castles which have moats and drawbridges so dragon water play is a possibility. Besides, even dragons must have sometimes needed a bath.

dragon water play

Dragon water play can happen in the bath or with clothes on at the sink. We found some colorful, plastic dragons at the store. These needed a wash before playing with them and the washing turned into a play activity. With some water and the dragons in the sink, Little Sister washed them off. The dragons splashed and swam. A small container became a boat. They couldn’t all fit so another one was needed. The dragons needed some friends, so out came a few dinosaurs. As she played, Little Sister talked to herself and created stories about what was happening. Sometimes, she paid little attention to them and seemed to be more interested in watching the swirls in the water. She was directing her dragon water play at various levels.

dragon water play

Water play is a simple activity for kids but tremendously appealing. The water both stimulates and calms the senses. Certainly water appeals to the sense of touch, but the small sounds and moving shapes involve hearing and seeing too. Because the water is so fluid, children’s play can be fluid too. The possible ways to play with water are unlimited so kids can play with it to suit their own ideas and needs. This could be on a sensory level or an imaginative one or a combination, depending on what kids want at any particular time. Water play is a sort of spa for kids. Tension and stress seem to flow out of the body and mind, leaving behind relaxation and a renewal of energy.

dragon water play

Inevitably, water play means some water on the floor too. However, it’s small price to pay for such deep and enjoyable play, isn’t it?

Digging for Treasure: Dragon Sensory Imaginative Play

Treasure, whether dragon or pirate, sometimes gets buried and digging for treasure is fun for kids with some dragon sensory imaginative play. Adults too; think of gold digging or excavating.

sensory play digging

With their huge claws, digging is pretty easy for dragons. It’s harder for kids. If you live somewhere warm enough so the yard isn’t covered in rain or snow, kids can play in the sandbox. If not, this can be done inside too. For indoor play, fill a large bowl or other container with kinetic sand. You can find recipes to make your own at home using sand, cornstarch, liquid soap, and water. There are lots of recipes on line.

Either inside or outside, the first thing is to find some small items to be treasure. Some suggestions are small stones, plastic figurines, spools from thread, beads, and play coins. For outside sand boxes these can be larger than for play inside. Since all the sand will be in a container, it’s possible to put in some real coins, like a quarter or two and smaller things like marbles and plastic colored gems. With your child, count the treasure so you know when it’s all found. You can also use a cupcake tin or an egg carton. Before burying, put one treasure in each section. If there’s an empty space later something is still hiding in the sand.

sensory play sand

Kids like to both bury the treasure and then find it. Shovels are great for sand boxes and spoons will do for bowls. Fingers can also dig and sift through the sand. If you have an old strainer, kids can pour in shovelfuls or spoonfuls of sand. A few shakes, the sand sifts out, and all that’s left is the treasure.

This dragon sensory imaginative play activity combines sensory play and make-believe. Skin gets to feel the sand, eyes both see the the treasure and get to seek it. There’s some stimulation for hearing but not much for smell and none for taste—we hope. Kids can imagine they are looking for dragon treasure or they might want to be the dragon who is burying it. Plus, thinking skills like problem-solving and concentration come into play. Kids are communicating and working to achieve a goal, that of finding the treasure. For kid-dragons, isn’t the best treasure the play itself?

Halloween Water Sensory Play and Magic Potion

Halloween water sensory play and magic potions isn’t just child’s play, it’s a child’s suggestion for a play-of-the-day. It’s simple and proven to be fun.

water-sensory-play-halloween

After scooping out a pumpkin, we had to clean up the kitchen. There were a few seeds on the counter and even the floor. There were spoons and other tools that needed washing. Little hands “helped” with that. Some seeds were in the strainer when the dishes were done and I was tempted to throw them up. Little Sister asked if she could use them to make some magic potions. I said yes to that but didn’t want to wipe up the counters again so suggested she make her potions in the kitchen sink. No idea where that thought came from but it was a good one.

Little Sister stood at the sink partly filled with warm water, stirring and creating potions. She used a few Halloween items like a plastic spider, skeleton, centipede, along with a couple of spoons and containers. The jack-o-lantern and bat cookie cutters plus a few seeds and strands floated around too. Two medicine droppers squirted water over the items. This engaged her for several minutes.

The pumpkin that we’d just scooped out also ended up in the sink. Little Sister scooped up and poured out water several times. She carefully picked out and placed the floating seeds into the hollow pumpkin then began filling it with the eye droppers. It took a long time even to get a small amount of water in the pumpkin using the droppers but she was content.

water-sensory-play-halloween

Water is relaxing and calming for kids in the bath, the kitchen sink, or even a big container of it on floor. Expensive toys aren’t needed for play, just a few items of some sort or another. When kids are done, even if some spills on the floor, it is certainly easy to clean up. This play was sensory and most definitely child-directed. We’ve all heard the expression “everything but the kitchen sink.” When it comes to kids, perhaps it could be “the kitchen sink is everything.” The potions weren’t the only magic happening during this Halloween water sensory play, were they?

Scooping out a Pumpkin: Sensory and Science Play

Ooey, gooey, it’s time to look, listen, smell, feel (and maybe taste?) when scooping out a pumpkin. This is sensory fun, science play, and learning all at once. First, prepare the table or counter with some newspaper. Find a container to save the seeds and strings from the inside. Before cutting, look at the pumpkin … Continue reading Scooping out a Pumpkin: Sensory and Science Play

Space Activities #13: Space Sensory Bin with Soap Foam

A space sensory bin invites children to engage and explore. There are wonderful materials and items to use. We chose soap foam, bright colors, and stars. It was sensory for both touch and visual. In photos, the Milky Way looks like white swirls. When doing the dishes, Big Sister thought the soap foam looked like … Continue reading Space Activities #13: Space Sensory Bin with Soap Foam

Transportation Play Activities #10: Transportation Sensory Play

The weather finally gave us some sunny breaks, making it warm and dry enough for a car wash and  other transportation sensory play outside. Kids can certainly play outdoors in any weather, but we needed some sun to dry newly washed cars and trucks and other toys and for new discoveries. Cars and trucks and … Continue reading Transportation Play Activities #10: Transportation Sensory Play

Kids Play with Anything #21: Child’s Play with Recycled Materials

How can stuff in the recycling basket or box be more appealing than toys? Somehow, kids will play with anything including play with recycled materials. Boxes, plastic containers, paper, cardboard rolls, cotton stuffing, coffee cups, foil pie tins, empty cartons, styrofoam trays, corks, and many other things are all treasures for kids and play. The … Continue reading Kids Play with Anything #21: Child’s Play with Recycled Materials