Learning and development is important to me. It’s what I aspired to become an expert at in my career. That’s why even though I am home with the kids, it’s important for me that they are learning and developing every day.
Teaching doesn’t always mean learning. Learning happens in different ways for different people. To break it down to basics, there are four different learners:
Especially with the advent of technology, more and more people are becoming visual learners (Pinterest, blogs, YouTube, etc.) and auditory learners (music, podcasts, etc.). That’s why it’s really important to us to teach our children through different senses, combining different types of learning styles.
Enter sensory play. Sensory play refers to using more than one of your senses to learn and play. The idea behind it is to experience the activity through various senses, while learning something at the same time! Some major benefits include building vocabulary, developing socio-emotional skills, strengthening fine motor skills, and developing the imagination.
There are lots of ideas that I will be sharing in the coming posts about creating sensory boxes but I wanted to take a quick moment to share how you can create your own sensory boxes with materials you already have in your kitchen.
What I like to do is go to an Indian grocery store during Diwali or a grand opening and buy things that are on sale. I primarily bought things that I could cook with in case Serena didn’t enjoy playing with it. I also bought some plastic containers that were on sale at Target.
Pictured from top to bottom, left to right: Fryums, Mukhwaas, Poa, Moong Daal, Cracked Wheat
Both, the Fryums and the mukhwaas, we practice separating by color and identifying them. We also take the Fryums out and work on creating patterns: Green-Pink alternating; Green, Yellow, pink; etc. The moong daal is great because we used a tin can (old formula tin) and put some moong in there to create a shaker. The cracked wheat is kind of like a substitute for grainy sand. We practice writing our letters in there. My favorite, and probably Serena’s, too, is the poa. Dry poa feels pretty cool on its own, but what makes it even more fun (and kind of messy!) is when you add water to it. We literally sit there and watch the poa absorb the water and talk about how the texture changed! I let her mush around the softened poa to understand the change that took place.
These are just five examples of sensory boxes for your toddler. You can use anything from the list below as well:
- Sabhu dhanna
- Any lentils: black eyed peas, urad, chori, kidney beans
- Oily toor daal
Have fun learning!