Kim Toomer MOT OTR/L, occupational therapist at Child and Family Development, celebrates Sensory Awareness Month by finding resources for families and colleagues.
She discovered a helpful website, Learning 4 Kids, that provides an easy explanation of “messy play” as well as lists of activities.
- According to the site, messy play is important for young children, giving them endless ways to develop and learn. All types of play are essential for children‚Äôs development and early learning. Play helps children to develop and improve their gross and fine motor skills, coordination and concentration. Also how to work cooperatively and collaboratively, use all their senses to discover and explore their environment, and develop their imagination, creative thinking and ability to problem solve and experiment with solutions.
Kim agrees that sensory play is a great way to encourage kids to try new things! They may be hesitant at first or they may jump right in and love to get messy. Exposing the tactile system to different sensations can help the body learn to adjust and modulate sensory input.
- She especially likes the squishy bags and colored rice bags on this list, for when families want to give their kids a sensory experience, but don‚Äôt have the time to clean up a big mess. Very practical!
Find more activities here.