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Tips for Sensory Play: Toddler Style

If you have read any more my tot school posts, you know that I love sensory play! It's such an awesome toddler activity. And, as much as I love it, I've never met a toddler that didn't also love it. Many people are intimated by sensory play. But there really isn't a reason to be scared. Sensory play can really include anything, it's your chance to be creative and have fun!

Follow these my top three tips for sensory play and you should be having a blast in no time.

Embrace the mess. Sensory play is rarely clean. It's all about exploring textures, sounds, shapes and new sensations. And to do that, you have got to let the fun happen. If you're in a space that needs protecting, lay out a sheet or tarp. Move outside if you can, or to the bathtub. Just don't focus on cleaning up, focus on playing, learning, and connecting with your toddler.

And, yeah, keep the vacuum handy.

Add real-life skills. I swear toddlers get sick of toys faster than anything else. So, for sensory play -- ditch the toys! Grab stuff from around your house. Cups, bowls, spoons, spice jars, funnels, brushes, and ice cube trays. As adults, our imaginations can limit us {I know mine does} but for toddlers the possibilities are endless. It's amazing to see what excites them, challenges, and most importantly {for me} entertains them! Think outside the box. You'll be amazed what your toddler will learn.

Join the fun. Get down on your hands and knees and join the little ones. Don't lead. PLAY! We can be so eager to teach, that we forget to sit back and enjoy our kids. Let them show us how to "use" the sensory toys. And everyone might just learn something along the way. 

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Amy said…
I love this post! You are so right about the toys. Kyla would rather play with random stuff I pull out any day.
Beth said…
Can you attach a link for where you got your toddler table with the slide in bins below it (shown in your last picture on this post)? I love that! I'm afraid of the mess, so having lids to keep things confined until we're ready to play with it would be nice. I love how they slide under there.
Lindsay said…
I LOVE this post!!!!!
Unknown said…
Great post! I am your newest follower and would like to invite you to add this, and more of your great posts, to my weekly Mom's library Link-Up.

Thanks and be blessed,
Julie @ Hey Mommy, Chocolate Milk
Deb Chitwood said…
Great tips! I often think sensory play is as much fun for adults as it is for kids! I featured your post at the Living Montessori Now Facebook page and pinned it to my Any-Season Sensory Tubs/Sensory Experiences Board at
You are so right about embracing the mess! I have much to learn about that! :)
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