Why are sensory activities so important for Pre-K kiddos? Exploration is the key to learning at this age. Kiddos need to feel and manipulate objects in their environment, when they are allowed to play in what I call "controlled chaos" children are engaged, happy and learning! Here is a list of my favorite sensory bin fillers, yes I get into the mix too!
Shaving cream (great table cleaner and makes the room smell fresh!)
popcorn kernals with farm objects
mixed beans (think sorting)
packing bubbles (bare feet!)
packing peanuts (did you know the newer ones dissolve in water, awesome!)
cotton balls with winter wear (think snowball fight)
slime (fabric softener, glue and water in individual cups, stir with popsicle sticks, then play away)
Tinsel with popcorn/cranberry rope and Christmas items
Rocks and Sea Shells (once again think sorting and collages)
WATER and funnels, ladels, sand sifters, buckets, shovels, water toys etc.! I know this could be
crazy but with the proper instructions and supervision it is great!
Salt/Sugar trays with fingers or pointers to make letters/numbers
Playdough (of course what Pre-K teacher doesn't love playdough)
Playfoam, moon sand and other materials like them
Sand (sand toys and dinosaurs to excavate)
WIKI STICKS (need I say more?)
I make sure to have at least one if not more sensory centers each day, they can be calming for those with sensory issues and can help those with sensory aversions to branch out in feels and textures. I don't force any child to touch something they do not want to touch but you might be amazed what children will try once they see their freinds having fun!
TEACHER TIP TO PARENTS: These are also great summer projects for kiddos of all ages!
Have a wonderful summer!