Sensory discovery is such an important part of growing and learning in the early years. It helps to stimulate the senses and teach kids all about touch, sight, hearing, and smell! Using their senses can encourage so much brain growth and begin to incorporate hand eye coordination and artistic ability.
We love to make different trays filled with toys, play dough, slime, squishies, pop it’s and other exciting items with cool textures and fun abilities. They learn to feel textures, makes sounds, fill buckets, pour liquids, build shapes, and so much more! We always try to incorporate a themed tray for every holiday to make it really memorable and full of educational benefits. These are some of our favourite St. Patrick’s Day crafts!
These are some of our favourite trays we make and play with:
Tea Set Tray
Every child loves the idea of making teas, coffees and cocoas. We love to have the addition of cotton balls to make pretend marshmallows, rice to aid in pouring and filling, and even water if we are outside!
Plastic Pieces Cup & Dice
This one is great for older kids to roll the dice and fill the cup with whatever number they land on. You can also use them to create pictures, colour change as they lay on top of each other and sorting colours and shapes which is another great skill to learn.
Popits and Squishies
Kids love to pop the bubbles of these little fidget toys and you can get them to count them as they go. Squishies are a great texture to learn and they are great for imaginative play.
Magnets are an excellent building material for little ones. You can get sets that come with wheels and an idea book for making all kinds of cool shapes and sculptures. The instructions are simple for young ones to follow as they are all photos and all they need to do is match the shape and count the pieces.
Play dough, Slime, and Cookie Cutters
Play dough and slime are amazing for teaching textures and creating all types of imagination games. Making “cookies” and sorting them into piles of different colours, shapes, and sizes is a great activity. My kids loved playing “bakery” or “coffee shop” and pretending to make orders and follow directions.
There are so many amazing sensory tray ideas to use and create in your own ways. Each one has its own benefits and you can get as elaborate as you like with it. One that I found very creative was cheerio dust that a mom made for her infant that is used as edible sand. You can use any type of plain cereal really all you need to do is put it in a food processor and you have edible sand to build and play in.
You may want to check out our post on how to make a
St. Patrick’s Day Glossy Rainbow we love to make crafts and activities out of supplies we have at home.