After the success and great feedback of my first Sensory Saturday event, I have decided to run them monthly. Sensory Saturday is a stay and play session for children and parents. I offered the opportunity for 30 children with their parents to take part in a sensory session led by myself. I set up 7 activities where the children had free flow access to investigate, discover and explore through play. Parents were able to meet and network with other parents, as well as join in with a fun session without the hassle of clearing it up! I was on hand offering support and guidance to encourage regular sensory sessions at home. The event got booked up at the last minute and I had to turn away 3 families so I would defiantly book in advance to avoid disappointment. Again I am greatly thankful for the support and love shown by families and sponsors, you are the reason why I keep these events running.
Dyed Cooked Spaghetti
This tray right here!! My absolute favourite. The way I could put my toes in it. I loved seeing the children playing with it and the aftermath was sensational. The colours together were an absolute dream. I used food dye to dye the pasta so it was safe for the younger children if they put it in their mouth. To make dyed spaghetti at home you will need 2 ingredients cooked pasta and food colouring. These ingredients you normally have in your home so what are you waiting on! Wash the pasta off in cold water and add some to a ziplock bag. Add a few drops of food colouring and leave it to absorb the colour for a few hours. You can then wash off the remaining food colouring with cold water and you are now good to go and explore with your little one. You can store the pasta in a airtight container in the fridge. I paired the spaghetti with chop sticks.
Waterbeads are another cheap and easy activity to put together. You can buy packets of 1000 on eBay and you just leave them in water and watch them grow. It is a great activity that children can be apart of as they continue to check up on it and see it growing. On your hands waterbeads feel amazing. I was playing with them the whole time I was speaking to parents. There are so many ways to use waterbeads in sensory activities however kitchen utensils are always a winner for me, cups, bowls, colander and funnels work well.
Chicks on the farm
As it was Easter half term I decided to do a few Easter themed activities. I forgot to take a picture of the set up which my son put together but it looked absolutely amazing! There is a video on my Instagram if you want to check it out. To put this tray together I used hay, barley, shreaded wheat, easter chicks and farm animals. There were golden eggs which chicks were hatching out of.
Wibble wobble jelly
I brought easter modules but had no idea what to do with them. I wanted something malleable so the children could recreate the shapes. I decided on jelly again because this is edible and for those who may not like too much mess like cornflour on their hands this is more inviting. Without hesitation I saw the children putting their hands in the jelly they even took rice from the other tray and mixed it with the jelly and realised that it makes the rice stick together. Jelly is a great activity especially for phonics. To teach phonics I believe that early years should real life objects they can explore. J is for jelly, songs and games can accompany exploring this sound.
Straws are a tricky sensory activity but I always make sure that I provide activities for children who don’t like to get too messy. The pastel colours of these straws and eggs are gorgeous. Straws make a great sensory activity. I saw children biting them and threading them together. You could also add play dough or clay to this tray and children could build houses. This would be a great activitiy to accompany the three little pigs story.
Play dough is always a winner and is loved by children of all ages. I make play dough fresh for each event so I encourage parents to take some home for their child. I went for easter/ spring colours and made them very vibrant. Read my previous post for my go to play dough recipe.
Lowercase and uppercase letter match
For this tray I used rice, pom poms and eggs which had lower case and upper case letters on them. What I love about this activity is that is can be explored by siblings or children of different ages.Older children could match the eggs together while younger children made shakers and explored the texture of the rice. Sensory play has no age limits and this is why we do sensory play every Sunday. Its a moment that both my boys can share together and I don’t need to worry if it is too difficult for my youngest to enjoy or too boring for my oldest to enjoy because they can do whatever they want.
Again I am so grateful for the sponsors who are happy to support these events. It helps me keep admissions cost low and families are able to try products they may not necessarily see or buy.
I would like to thank Mr Organic for sending pasta sauces for families to try. These sauces are organic and suitable for children 9 months plus. As a mum it is important to me to ensure my children have a balanced healthy diet especially in the early years. Mr organic believe that well being starts with good food which means being mindful of ingredients and the environment to provide delicious food that makes people happy. Mr organic is vegan, delicious, healthy, ethical, sustainable, organic, natural and trustable. Mr organic products include pasta, rice, ketchup, salsa, egg free mayonnaise, pasta sauce, breadsticks, flatbread, chocolate spreads, beans, pasta sauce, pesto and much more. I had a jar left over an decided to give one to to my boys. My eldest loved it, he said it was so saucy and ate it all up but when I told him that I would make it for him he wasn’t impressed but he really enjoyed it.
I would like to thank Hippeas Snacks for sending a variety their chickpea snacks which are organic, gluten-free, vegan, baked not fried, plant protein, packed with fibre, low in calories and absolutely delicious. The adults and children throughly enjoyed them. You can find Hippeas at whole foods markets, Ocado, Superdrug, Planet Organic, WHSmith, Waitrose, As Nature Intended and Holland and Barrett. The flavours include cheese & love, in herb we trust, far out fajita and sweet & smokin’.
Story Time with Tola Okogwu
After a busy session of exploring, learning through play and having fun we get the children to wind down and relax with a story. This session we had a exclusive reading of Tola’s new book from the Daddy Do My Hair? book series Kelechi’s Hair Goes Every Which Way. The children were well engaged and asked plenty of questions. They even joined in with some parts are there was some repetition. Kechi has beautiful big hair, mummy is away so daddy has to make sure she gets ready in time for school. There’s just one problem… he doesn’t know how! Daddy tries to tame Kechi’s swirly-springy, fluffy-puffy,
squishy-squashy, candyfloss curls. The ‘Daddy Do My Hair?’ series was inspired by the relationship between Tola’s husband and daughter and is designed to challenge some of the perceptions and preconceptions around race, gender roles within parenting, bullying, friendships and relationships. The book read really well from what I heard and is available to be pre ordered on Amazon. I have pre ordered mine and ordered the other two from the series, the Daddy Do My Hair? books are affordable, great quality and have awesome illustrations. Every school, early years setting and home should have a copy because representation matters. As a mother of boys with hair it these books have a personal impact on my life so I am here for all of them!
Is a hashtag and movement created by myself to encourage and inspire other parents. For me it is important that as parents we make memories with our children and capture these moments. I started sharing sensory play ideas which sparked interest with my followers. I then decided to create a hashtag and have weekly prompt that way we could have a bank of ideas that we could refer to whenever. I then decided to take it out the squares and meet. I am so glad I put together this event and I look forward to welcoming you at the next one on Saturday 5th May.