Many parent and family blogs will have wonderful posts for sensory play. What is sensory play? Basically, these are play activities that stimulates one or more of children’s senses. Another question could be: Why is it so important? From the time kids are born, they learn about the world by using their sense of touch, taste, smell, sight, and hearing. The stimulation of these senses also stimulates brain development, making a massive amount of brain connections and pathways. These are critical for later learning.
Fall is a spectacular time of year for the sense of sight. Fall leaves practically glow with bright golds and yellows, and in some areas, with fiery reds. A simple walk around the block with your child, or some play time at the playground or park will give your child many things to see. Besides the color of leaves, check the color of the trees. The plain brown of bark is not the same plain brown as dried grass. Are there other colors?
There might be some shapes to see, such as the long, skinny shape of boards in a fence or the round shape of chestnuts and acorns. Eyes can see things that are very close, like weeds on the ground or birds flying far away in the sky. Ask your child to look for something very big and something very small. We notice objects that are quite still, as well as ones that move, like the bus. You might be so busy looking that you miss catching the bus!
If you and your child have a safe place for watching, close your eyes for a few seconds, then open them and say what is the very first thing that you see. Turn around, look in another direction, and close your eyes again. This time, what do you see? Older kids can look around, make a tent over their eyes, and try to remember 3 to 5 things they see. Some kids will be very good at this, possibly even better than some adults. With your child carefully watching over you, you can try it. How many did you remember?
This is a fun activity that includes lots of learning. What do you see outside in the fall?