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Happy Thursday, Cayer Crew!

School is officially out for summer, and that means many parents are racking their brains to figure out fun and engaging activities for the kiddos while also limiting screen time. It’s the ultimate challenge! 

In recent years, sensory play has become a popular activity for young kids. Sensory play is any activity that stimulates a child’s sense of smell, touch, taste, sight, or hearing. It has proven beneficial for both typically developing children, and children with learning or developmental delays. It can help build nerve connections, develop motor skills, and it encourages scientific thinking and problem solving! 

For this week’s blog, we’re bringing you three inexpensive and easy ways to incorporate sensory play into your child’s day. These activities require minimal supplies and can lead to hours of fun, screenless play for your kiddos! 

Let’s dive right in! 

 

  1. Beach Day Sensory Bin 

While many beaches in the North Florida area are slowly reopening due to the COVID-19 outbreak, there’s a way you can simulate your own beach day in your own backyard! Beware though – this activity can get messy! This one is best for a grassy backyard or patio. All you’ll need is: 

  • A large, plastic storage container 
  • Clean sand 
  • Mini umbrellas, glass marbles, little beach balls, toy fish, etc. 

The only two requirements for the Beach Bin are the bin itself and the sand. After that, you can fill it with whatever you or the kiddos want! You can add dolls to create “mermaids,” some water to simulate the ocean, marbles for “rocks,” toy fish….Let your imagination run wild! When you’re done with your Beach Bin, you can dump it in the backyard or a trash can, or, cover it with a plastic lid to save the Beach for another day! 

2. I-Spy Sand Bin 

Another way to incorporate sand into your child’s play is an I-Spy bin. This activity is super simple, and requires the same materials as the beach bin – perfect for recycling! You’ll need: 

  • A plastic bin 
  • Clean sand 
  • Small toys like action figures, shapes, animals, food, etc. 

Simply arrange the toys how you’d like in the sand, then challenge your child to find all the toys in a certain time frame. You can even draw them a fun list and have them decorate it beforehand. For older kids, you can increase the difficulty level by using smaller toys and varying the hiding spots. For young kids, you can even break out some whisks, spoons, and measuring cups from the kitchen and allow them to “dig” for treasure. The possibilities for this activity really are endless! 

3. Jello Dig 

This activity is great for babies and smaller kids. Your older kiddos can assist in preparation and clean-up, as this craft can get messy as well! All you need is: 

  • Plastic bin, cooking pan, or bowl 
  • Sugar-free Jello 
  • Some small toys 

Prepare your jello normally, then add some of your child’s small toys. Allow to cool. Then, let baby dig away to their heart’s content! Beware, though – darkly colored Jello like red or blue will dye baby’s hands! We recommend yellow for the best, mess-free results. 

All of these activities are super-versatile, and you can easily add your own twists to them as well. Get creative with it! If you do decide to use any of these, post to social media and tag it #CayerCrafts so we can see!

Happy playing, everyone!