Learning in every sense

Sensory play can be fun, relaxing and can provide children with opportunities to enhance their learning through the five senses.

Sensory play can be fun, relaxing and can provide children with opportunities to enhance their learning through the five senses.

These opportunities are remarkably simple and easy to provide. Even though sensory play typically focuses on the sense of touch, there are four other senses to explore

The sense of smell can be developed by taking a walk after a summer shower; plus there is the glorious opportunity for a child to pick up a worm. This same walk can enhance a child’s listening skills through hearing the varied sounds of birds. Children can look for traffic signs, animals in window, and numbers and letters on license plates.

During holiday times children can experience the many different decorations displayed. If you are not able to go outside, there are still many ways to provide sensory activities in the home.

It is surprising how easy it is to provide sensory activities using readily available household objects or dollar store treasures. Foam letters can be buried in a tub of rice for children to find and manipulate; younger children will learn to recognize their letters while older children can make their names and other words.

A child’s sense of touch can be enhanced by filling the kitchen sink with water and providing the children with plastic spoons, containers and funnels. Finger painting with chocolate pudding is a fun sensory activity and adding corn meal or coffee grounds will provide a child with a new texture.

A plastic bottle filled with water and tiny objects, such as buttons, crayon pieces, beads and bolts (for older children) is easy to create; you can then ask your child to describe and count the contents.

The sense of taste can be developed by setting out items, blindfolding the child and ask them if the item is sweet, sour, salty etc. The child can be asked if they can identify the food. A child’s sense of hearing may be enhanced by placing an alarm clock in one room of the house, set it to ring and ask the child which direction the ringing is coming from.

If available you may also use a sea shell and ask the child what sound they hear. Offering smelling sensory activities may seem difficult at first but there are several different activities that will be inexpensive and quick to set up. By setting out items like garlic, vinegar, perfume, bananas, strawberries or lemons, you will be providing an activity that will allow your child to sort items into pleasant and unpleasant categories.

By offering many and varied sensory activities you will be providing your children with valuable educational experiences. These educational experiences focus on an entire range of pre-kindergarten skills such as; counting, classification, pre-writing and pre-reading. These sensory activities are also fun and may create cherished memories for many years to come.

Positive Parenting appears every week in LIFE. This week’s column was written by Kathy Klumpenhower, an outreach worker with Family Services of Central Alberta. Klumpenhower can be reached by calling 403-343-6400 or www.fsca.ca.

Just Posted

Innisfail Eagles win Senior AAA provincial semifinal, earn final spot in Allan Cup

For the first time in their 71-year history, the Innisfail Eagles will… Continue reading

Ford says social media allows politicians to circumvent mainstream journalists

OTTAWA — Premier Doug Ford says mainstream journalists have become irrelevant because… Continue reading

Montreal priest stabbed during mass leaves hospital; suspect to be charged

MONTREAL — A Catholic priest who was stabbed as he was celebrating… Continue reading

The endless war against invasive species

Group looks to protect native ecological environments in Alberta

Good-bye ice and snow, hello potholes on Red Deer roads

City workers will be spending 20 hours a day on various road repairs

WATCH: Fashion show highlights Cree designers

The fashion show was part of a Samson Cree Nation conference on MMIW

Pricey Titanic wreck tours hope to bring new life to a century-old story

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Adventure tourists with money in the bank have… Continue reading

France investigates after older protester is injured in Nice

NICE, France — French authorities are investigating the case of an older… Continue reading

DOJ: Trump campaign did not co-ordinate with Russia in 2016

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department said Sunday that special counsel Robert Mueller’s… Continue reading

New report details impact of proposed NS spaceport in event of explosion or fire

HALIFAX — The head of a company proposing to open Canada’s only… Continue reading

Rothmans, Benson & Hedges gets creditor protection in $15B Quebec lawsuit

MONTREAL — Rothmans, Benson & Hedges has become the third tobacco company… Continue reading

Monster Energy drink recalled due to possible glass fragments

OTTAWA — Monster Energy Canada Ltd. is recalling one of its drinks… Continue reading

Global ocean group to study possible toxic splashdowns of space debris

A global agency that sets rules for the seas is studying the… Continue reading

Online real estate auctions try to shake up sales with novel approach

An online auction for a luxury home in Abbotsford, B.C., is drawing… Continue reading

Most Read