5 hands-on sensory activities for children


School is out, which means some very active children and lots of time at hand. The biggest challenge I face as a mother is limiting screen time as much as possible. Do you know what would be the most effective way to retain their interest in anything but electronics?  It’s by encouraging their active participation in a given task. Being in the field of education and a mother myself, I have compiled some simple yet extremely fun hands-on activities that help strengthen your child’s learning. My favorite part; these activities have no age restriction. You can entertain your 2 yrs. old as well as your 8 yrs. old, it all depends on the level of involvement you ask of them.

Involve your children in the below activities by assigning age-appropriate tasks to each.  which can range from writing down the resource list to choosing colors to follow the step-by-step procedure.

Home-made play dough
Resources required-

All-purpose flour (1cup)
Salt (1/2 cup)
Warm water (1/4cup)
Food coloring
Mix the dry ( flour + salt) and wet(oil + water +  food coloring) ingredients in two separate bowls.  Stir in the wet ingredients and the dry ingredients slowly forming them into a firm dough. Knead well to get a smooth consistency. Hand the kids some shapes or number cutters and rollers and they are busy working those fine motor skills for hours.

Reading buddy
Resources required-
Old sock (preferably knee length)
Rice (2-3 cups)
Thread and needle
Let your child chose a sock. Fill it in with rice. Depending on the weight that your child can manage, decide how much or how little rice should be put into the sock. Sew up the open end and its ready. Keep this ‘reading buddy’ around their tummy or shoulders while they sit down to read. This weight around their waist helps them to be less fidgety and concentrate better on their reading skills.  Watch it can double up as a soft warmer/heat bag after putting it in the microwave for 2 minutes

Calming jar
Resources required-
Empty bottle (reuse a water bottle)
Glitter glue
Glitter (coarse)
Warm water
Empty glitter glue into the plastic bottle. Fill up the bottle with water, leave 1-2 inch at the top. Finally, add coarse glitter to the water and close the lid. Shake well and the calming jars are ready. These jars help your child to ease any unsettled emotion and focus better at their task. Use these for hyper children, where they sit and look at the glitter settle down. Use it as timers or just to kill boredom. Using different color combinations can make them highly amusing for children and adults alike.

Resources required-
Glitter glue
Baking powder(1tsp)
Fine beads (to make it sensory)
Contact lens solution (this works as an activator)
Pour out all the glitter glue in a mixing bowl. Add in baking powder and fine beads. Once this is mixed well, gradually add in the lens solution. Mix well and the slime is ready. Textured slime is particularly sensory for children, which helps them focus better, keeps them busy and entertained.

Stress balls 

Resources required-
All-purpose flour (1 cup)
Empty water bottle
Pour flour into the empty bottle. Blow a balloon and carefully tuck the lip part of the balloon to the bottle without letting the air out. Flip over the bottle so the flour is transferred into the balloon. Take off the balloon from the bottle and slowly remove all the air out so that only the flour is left inside. Tie the open end of the balloon. Using a sharpie let your child draw out faces/characters on the balloon. As the name suggests, these stress balls work wonders to support children with their emotions as well as building on their palm muscles that help them with the pencil grip.

@r0manafarhat mother of two beautiful girls and a full-time teacher. 


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