Sensory activity suitable for kids 4 years and above who love to play and create stories with small worlds.
Summer is upon us and let’s bring the beach inside. Small world play is a wonderful experience for the kids – they get to be the puppeteer of sorts. This beach/ocean sensory activity one was easy to set up. I took a big lump of blue play dough and fashioned a shoreline in a flat tub. I recommend you make the “shoreline” more like a wall to prevent seepage of water. The higher and thicker the wall is, better it is.[Note: Remember to set up the sensory activity exactly at the place the kids will be playing. You don’t want to be moving around the tub sloshing water all over.]
I added clean play sand on one side of the shoreline. On the other side I added blue colored water first. Once I made sure that the play dough was holding off the water I squirted bit of shaving cream to simulate sea foam and waves.
After this basic idea, everything else was embellishments. How elaborate or how simple you want the sensory activity to be is based on you and your child. My 4 year loves it best when there are fewer elements. With fewer items in the sensory activity, greater the imagination.
We added a few toys on the sand side – little people, teeny tiny chair. Since I didn’t have one of those drinks umbrellas, attached a muffin liner to a toothpick and called it an umbrella. My 4 year old thought it was hilarious!
The little people were taking a swim..
Somehow close up shots of small world play make them look super complicated and then you think “I don’t have the time to put together an elaborate play scene” But this shot will show you how simple it actually is.
After all that creative play with story lines, full-on sensory play mode kicked it. First came down the play dough wall and all the ocean water gushed in with the sand. We mixed up the sand, water and play dough and that again was such an enjoyable sensory experience.
This was clearly one of older child’s sensory activity ideas. If my toddler were around, the ocean and beach would have been mixed up in a few seconds.
Tip: Don’t like to waste the play dough? Let the soaked play dough dry for a while. Then try this wonderful play dough play idea from Learn with play at home.
Summer Play Ideas