Rachel here. What a busy week we’ve had here at Team Sunshine!
On Wednesday we ran our very first Sunshine Sensory Play session. These sessions are totally free for our families and are an opportunity to get stuck into some sensory play.
The theme was ‘Summer’ and all the activities were related to all the best things about summer – ice cream, the beach, flowers and flamingos.
The Hub at the Metrocentre was the perfect place to run our sessions, big thank you to Tracy for facilitating the hire of the space and being so welcoming.
We also want to say a huge thank you to Karen Colley at Tesco Kingston Park for donating resources to our sensory play kit – it’s wonderful to get the support from our wider communities to be able to run the sessions for free.
We’re planning to take our Sunshine Sensory Play sessions on the road, so watch out for one coming to your area soon!
We had lots of families come along on Wednesday – they thoroughly enjoyed getting stuck into Ocean themed Gloop, making sandcastles and ice creams with the Moon Dough and hunting for sunflowers and flamingos in the buckets of water beads!
There was a crafting table with colouring in, mask making and of course, all the stickers!
We also had a chill out space with more calming and non-messy sensory experiences for children who preferred a different type of sensory play.
Some of the children wanted to share their thoughts about the session - “My favourite was the water beads, I loved scooping them and then they were so bouncy!”
“I loved dripping the gloop everywhere – it was so messy!”
“The fruit in the water smelled really nice!”
A Sunshine Grandma said “It means so much that we can come here and be included and it being free takes the worry away.
We could bring all three grandkids and know that it was an activity they would all enjoy.
It was a bonus being at the MetroCentre too as it’s all easy to find a disabled parking bay and we know that the toilet and changing facilities are perfect for our grandsons needs.”
Sensory play is such an important part of development for any child but can be especially beneficial for children with special educational needs and disabilities. It doesn’t always have to be messy either.
There are loads of dry and clean activities you can create for children to explore; particularly if your child is more averse to messy textures.
When you’re thinking about doing some sensory play, the easiest place to start is thinking about the five senses – sight, sound, touch, taste and hearing.
Now, a lot of the activities we had were made with food based ingredients; but definitely wouldn’t have tasted very nice!
Using food to create messy play is a great way to allow children who enjoy exploring the world with their mouths in a safe way; but we know it’s not always possible to use food.
As part of our Family Events and Outreach, we’re going to be sharing some simple and effective sensory play activities to do with your family and lots of these are either totally free or will be using things you might have in the house.
Make sure you’re following us on social media to catch the tutorials when they land and don’t forget to share with us all your photos and videos of you all enjoying some sensory play!