How to Get Started with Sensory Play
J Julia DeNey

How to Get Started with Sensory Play

Feb 7, 2024

If you're a parent looking to include more sensory activities in your child's routine, you’ve come to the right place. Sensory play isn't just beneficial; it's a fun and engaging way for both you and your child to explore the world. To learn more about how to get started with sensory play, we collaborated with the founder of Meemzy Magic, Jennifer Stalley. Meemzy Magic is all about creating fun, sensory play kits for kids of all ages. Let’s see what she had to say! 

When Should I Start Sensory Play? 

Wondering when to introduce sensory play? You can start as early as four months old. Sensory play is adaptable to every age, evolving with your child's developmental stage. From sensory bins for the youngest to more complex activities as they grow, the possibilities are diverse and can cater to different age groups.

Child playing with a Sensory Kit

Can I DIY Sensory Activities at Home? 

Of course! You don’t need to buy kits or specific toys to engage in sensory play. If you're looking for quick and easy DIY sensory activities, a glance into your pantry might provide the solution. Turn neglected items like dry beans into a lava-filled dino adventure with the addition of orange Jello. The key is to get creative with what you have, transforming the ordinary into an extraordinary sensory experience.

How to Get Started with Sensory Play

1. Establish a Dedicated Space

Consider setting up a designated area for sensory play. Investing in a sensory table, available at Ikea or Amazon for around $100, can be a practical choice. These wooden tables come equipped with compartments for water, ice cubes, and various sensory materials. The simplicity of the design makes cleanup a breeze – just rinse it out! To keep things interesting, tie the sensory play setup into your child's current interests. For example, if you're planning a visit to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, create an ocean-themed sensory kit to extend the learning experience at home.

2. Explore Different Activities 

Sensory play is all about exploration, and discovering what types of sensory play resonates with your child is apart of the fun. From playdough that squishes between fingers to captivating auditory experiences, you'll discover activities suitable for different preferences and ages. Be sure to introduce your child to different textures, sounds, tools, and activities to see what sticks (literally or figuratively). 

3. Prioritize Safety

Safety is paramount in sensory play. There are a number of eco-friendly toy options that ensure safe play while minimizing waste. Additionally, always keep an eye on younger children during sensory play and to make everyone is staying safe. This may look like keeping everything non-toxic for the “taste tester” in the family. For those kids who love to put everything in their mouths, consider grinding up cherios to make “sand” for the sensory bin. 

4. Tailor Activities for Babies and Toddlers

For the youngest participants, sensory play can start early. Just be sure to opt for activities suitable for their ages. Engage their senses with simple activities like smelling flowers, rolling in the grass, or capturing the soothing sounds of ocean waves. 

5. Keep it Fun! 

Since sensory play is all about exploration, there shouldn’t be too many rules to how they can play. By making sure the activities is age-appropriate, you can allow yourself to take a step back and let your child take the lead. Let them explore, get messy, and have a blast! 

For more information on sensory activities for kids, be sure to check out Meemzy Magic for more ideas and kits to spark your child’s creativity! 

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