A sensory box is an activity where the children are given materials and tools in a table or container with no instruction on what to do with them. The children are given a chance to explore whats in front of them and decide what to do with it themselves. This self directed play allows children to be creative and gives them confidence and a feeling of self achievement.
Today we set up a Easter themed sensory box using porridge oats, crunched up Shredded Wheat, fluffy chicks, plastic eggs, and feathers.
The plastic eggs I used split in half. The children used these as scoops and also mix and matched them together. They used the eggs with holes in as sieves.
Sensory activities build on cognitive development. This is a mental process that includes memory, making decisions, problem solving and understanding language. It is the part of our brain that helps us process information and apply knowledge.
Maths can be applied to count, size, match and sort items into groups. They can grasp a better understanding of full and empty, more or less, and whether things float or sink.
Science concepts are used when predicting outcomes and experimenting with materials such as cause and effect. Children have the opportunity to explore and build a better understanding of gravity and speed.
English and language can also be improved. Children build their hand eye coordination and fine motor skills which are used for holding a pencil to learn how to write when pouring stirring, whisking and manipulating the materials. The activity gives a child a sense of self awe which they want to share. It gives them something interesting to talk to others about because each child will use the materials differently. It builds on their vocabulary as they try to express and share their ideas.