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7 August 2018

Summer Holidays Sensory Play

by Alexandra Hooson

Summer holidays are here and many parents have that dreaded feeling of how are they going to keep their children entertained for the entire summer holiday!  Scary thought!

This blog will give parents and carer’s ideas and inspiration for activities throughout the summer holidays.

On a summer’s day…

The sun is shining and the sky is blue, what a perfect opportunity to get your children outside to explore the nature around them.

By being outside and surrounded by nature, children experience an ever-changing and free-flowering environment that stimulates all of their senses. Outdoor play encourages a child’s intellectual, emotional, social and physical development.

The natural world is an enormous learning environment, giving children the chance to experience the sights, scents, sounds and textures of the outdoors.   Interacting with nature allows children to experiment and use their imagination. Activities can include:

  • Building and digging in soil- how deep can you dig a hole?
  • Watching worms and insects wriggle through the soil- how many ladybirds can you see?
  • Gaze at the clouds and look at their shapes and the way they move- what shape does that cloud make?
  • Jump in puddles- how wet can you get?
  • Listen to the birds singing- guess the bird song?
  • Smelling the different types of flowers and plants- what is your favourite herb?
  • Collect Seeds- plant them and see what grows.
  • Build things using twigs, branches and mud- build a den for a squirrel.

On a rainy day…

 

Don’t panic! Even though it is raining outside there are still so many sensory and educational activities you can do with your children inside.

Here are some fun ideas:

Primary Colours Squishy Bag Experiment

This is a wonderful sensory experiment for children to see how colours mix from other colours. Children use their hands to blend and squish the different coloured paints together to create new colours.

  1. All you need is a large tray or flat surface, red, blue and yellow paint, clear plastic zip lock lunch/ freezer bags and some sticky tape.
  2. Put two different colours of paints into the corners of each plastic bag. One bag with blue and yellow, second with red and blue and the third with red and yellow.
  3. Use sticky tape to seal and strengthen the bags.
  4. Get the children to squish, press and push the paints to mix the paints, forming marble effects initially and then creating new colours when completely mixed together.
  5. Discuss whilst experimenting with the new colours.

An alternative to this is Rhino UK’s Squidgy Sparkle Shapes and fish. These can be squeezed, bent and pressed. Children will enjoy playing with these colourful, glittery, sparkly shapes, whilst learning colour and shape recognition at the same time.

Build a Den

All you need is a pop-up tent and then you and your children can create another world inside it!

Get your children thinking creatively and using their imagination. Choose a theme for the tent that you know the children will find enjoyable.

Look around the house and pick out items and objects to put into the tent to create this imaginary world. For example cushions, twinkle lights, torches, colourful throws, and glow in the dark toys or stickers.

Rhino UK offers a Projection and Light Play pack, included in this pack is a pop-up projection white tent, torches, reflex panels which create effective patterns when the lights of the torches and Galaxy Light and Laser Sphere also included shine onto them.

The list of indoor and outdoor sensory play activities is endless and most of the time it is just about using your imagination and putting your creative head on.

For more information please take a look around Rhino UK’s website, some key pages are listed below:

Inspiration: https://www.rhinouk.com/advice-inspiration

Buying guide: https://www.rhinouk.com/products/sensory-equipment-buying-guide.html

Case Studies: https://www.rhinouk.com/casestudies