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 other vehicle toys spend their time on the floor or on the ground. The outside ones can get dirty. After all, that’s what they are for—for digging in the gravel, making roads, climbing mountains, getting buried in landslides, zooming across the grass, and more. They get up close and personal with the dirt, sand, rocks, and occasionally water. This kind of play is often imaginative and it is highly sensory.
A bin of soapy water added a new element to the sensory play. With delight, the kids dumped toys into a bin of warm water and soap bubbles and created their own car wash. This can appeal to kids of various ages and they can wash toys alone or with playmates. Big Sister mentioned they were washing cars like the teenagers, reminding me of the high school students washing cars at a local fund-raiser just a couple of weeks ago.
Digging in the rocks is another sort of sensory play. After digging and dumping over and over with his digger and backhoe, this 3-year old boy had an idea. If his digger bucket could hold rocks, could it also hold water? He set his backhoe in the water table and squirted water into the bucket. When it was full, he dumped it out and filled it again. Just like in the rocks, his actions were repetitive as he tested his discovery again and again.
Transportation sensory play for children is more than fun. Educator, parent, and writer Amanda Morgan reminds us about kids, “As they are better able to use their senses, they are then better able to learn through their senses.” That’s why encouraging and building on their play is so important, not just for now, but like the teenagers washing cars, for years down the road too. What do you do to promote transportation sensory play?