Category: Fun Times

TOP 10 Sensory Activities for 2 years olds

Why Is Sensory Play Important for Children?

– Sensory is important for children because it allows them to be messy and enriches their awareness of their bodies and senses. Sensory activities can help kids focus on their experience in the present moment.

Here are 10 sensory activities for toddlers! 

1.) Slime

Kids love playing with slime, and it is so beneficial for them. It is an amazing, tactile sensory experience. Most parents aren’t fans of slime because of the mess it can make, but it’s a great sensory tool for children. Manipulating slime and measuring ingredients can strengthen fine motor skills, and experimenting with slime recipes helps kids learn about cause and effect.

Slime helps kids get in touch with almost all senses; they focus on how it feels, sounds, looks, and smells.

Benefits are:

  • Promotes mindfulness
  • Helps children focus
  • Encourages them to play independently
  • Promotes fine motor skills
  • It is calming
  • It’s portable

2.) Ice Painting

This activity allows children the opportunity to explore color mixing, patterns and to feel the texture of the slippery, cold, wet paint. It will enable your child to be creative and use their imagination. As the paint melts, they will learn how when colors mix, they make a new color.

Benefits are:

  • It helps develop fine motor skills
  • It helps develop gross motor skills & control
  • Hand-eye coordination
  • Learn colors

3.) Play Dough

Playdough provides a great sensory medium, and the possibilities are limitless and will evoke your child’s imagination. The malleable properties of play dough make it fun for investigation and exploration. Playdough can be squashed, squeezed, rolled, flattened, chopped, cut, scored, raked, punctured, poked, and shredded.

Benefits are:

  • Develops Fine Motor Skills

  • Calming

  • Encourages creativity

  • Enhances Hand-eye coordination

  • Improves social skills

  • Supports literacy and numeracy

  • Promotes playtime

 

4.) Oobleck

Oobleck is a fascinating way to engage in sensory play and understand science. It is great because it is inexpensive, quick, easy, taste-safe, and so much FUN! All it takes is cornstarch and water, and it is environmentally friendly.

– Your child can drive cars through it, play with it in your hands, mix colors, dribble and paint with goop on the sidewalk or driveway, or make sudsy goop.

Benefits are:

  • Supports language development
  • Builds gross motor skills
  • Builds fine motor skills
  • Learn science concepts
  • Strengthen hand muscles

5.) Sensory Toy

A sensory toy is specially designed to stimulate one or more senses. They may also help and be appealing to children on the spectrum because they can help them remain calm and provide the sensory experience they want. Much of what young children learn is through touch and stimulation of the senses.

– Types of sensory toys are rattles, crinkly books, teething beads, toys with mirrors, sensory shapes, and activity walkers.

Benefits are:

  • Cognitive stimulation
  • Language development
  • Fine and gross motor skills
  • Social interaction
  • Calming and comforting
  • Develop a sense of awareness

6.) Finding Small Items Hidden in the Kinetic Sand 

Playdough is fantastic for encouraging imaginative play. Children love to play hide and seek and love playdough, so why not combine the two. Hidden treasure playdough is a fun way to present small toys that children can use in their imaginative playdough play.

Benefits are: 

  • Develops fine motor skills
  • Calming
  • Encourages creativity
  • Enhances hand-eye coordination
  • Improves social skills
  • Supports literacy and numeracy
  • Promotes playtime

7.) Noodle Play

Kids are designed to explore the world through their senses, and exploring sensory materials helps kids’ emotional development. This sensory activity allows children to be creative. Different noodles provide texture-related tactile sense development. Kids will love the feel of playing with noodles.

Benefits are:

  • Language development
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Cognitive function
  • Fine motor development
  • Develop creativity

8.) Color Papers Hidden in Rice

Children learn best through hands-on experiences. It can be very calming to run your hands through a textured material like rice, and it is a wonderful invitation to play and create imaginary worlds.

– Fun sensory bins with rice are rainbow sensory bin, alphabet search, and watermelon rice sensory bin.

Benefits are:

  • Develop Pincer grip
  • Hand-eye coordination
  • Calming
  • Fine motor strength
  • Learn colors
  • Language skills

9.) Stamping

Creating art expands a child’s ability to interact with the world around them and provides a new set of skills for self-expression and communication. They will love creating aesthetically pleasing works and experiences.

Benefits are:

  • Fine motor skills
  • Strengthening hand muscles
  • Hand-eye coordination
  • Coordination
  • Explore colors

10.) Water Beads

Water beads are soft, squishy, and smooth to touch. Children will love the feel of the water beads and will love scooping them with their hands. They are soothing to touch and look at. You can even add these to your child’s bath. Children will also love watching the water beads grow bigger.

Benefits are:

  • Fine motor skills
  • Coordination
  • Exploration
  • Learn colors
  • Promotes creativity
  • Teaches science
  • Hand-eye coordination

Unitl next Blog!

Hiral

Do you have questions such as..

  1. What activities are best for my 10 months old? or
  2. From when should I start my child’s potty training? or
  3. How to develop correct posture for handwriting and get my child ready for School? 

Anything regarding 0-8 years, you can have a Free-consult with our CEO and Award winning pediatric Occupational Therapist – Dr. Hiral Khatri. 

Do you love these ideas/activities of our blog and want more of them? You can have a box with age-appropriate activities that are developmentally correct and pediatric designed, shipped right to your door!

Click the link below to get your box now!

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Easter Eggs Activities and its developmental Importance for kids

Easter holds so many great activities for our children. What kid doesn’t love an Easter egg hunt? An Easter egg hunt is not just fun but a whole learning process. First, there’s finding the eggs, which works on your child’s gross motor and cognitive skills. Then decision making, planning, visual skills, and Picking the eggs up and putting them in the basket, which works on the child’s fine motor skills and coordination.

Here are some fun activities to do at Easter:

Color Scavenger Hunt

  • Use plastic-colored Easter eggs to encourage gross motor skills, visual perception, and learning colors. They will also be building cognitive skills and visual scanning.
  • You can assign a color to each child, and those are the eggs that they need to find.
  • You can use clues or a scavenger hunt for the older children.
  • The reward is they get to keep what is inside each of the eggs that they find.
    • Some tips for a successful Easter egg hunt for small children are:
      • Find a suitable space for the hunt, a small safe place.
      • Make sure to have baskets for each child.
      • Keep it simple.
      • Make sure all the children know the rules.
      • Keep things fair.

Easter egg hunts and/or scavenger hunts encourage physical activity. You can even involve math and have your little one practice counting all of the eggs they found. You can even put different sensory objects in some of the eggs for them to explore. Easter stickers are also a great item to put in the eggs.

 

Eggs and Bunny Art

  • This activity will be painting or coloring the eggs.
  • Have your child use markers, crayons, or paint to color the eggs for Easter.
  • Let them be creative and use their imagination. There is no right or wrong way.

Art promotes creativity, and that is extremely important for a child’s development. Holding the marker, crayon, or brush works on their fine motor skills. Art also helps children gain confidence and perseverance. Painting and coloring help develop visual-spatial skills. It will also help develop working memory, mental flexibility, and self-control.

Feed the Bunny

  • Use a box that is closed up and cut out a mouth for the bunny.
  • Give your child pom poms and have them feed the bunny through the mouth either with their hands or tweezers.

This activity will work a child’s pincer grasp when picking up the pompoms with their fingers or the tweezers. The ability to isolate the pointer finger and use a pincer grasp during fine motor play are important skills to prepare kids for a good pencil grasp.

This activity can also work on your child’s ability to cross the midline. Have them reach over to the left side to get the pompoms and then back to the right to feed the bunny. This is an important prerequisite to efficient reading, writing skills, and overall motor coordination.

Easter Activities to Involve the Entire Family

– Egg and Spoon Race – This is an old-fashioned outdoor game where you each have a spoon with an egg resting on it. You all race to a certain spot and see who can make it there first without dropping their egg.

– Read Easter books together as a family. Reading is so good for children and helps them with bonding, listening skills, cognitive and language development, expanded vocabulary, attention span, creativity, and social and emotional development.

– Easter symbolizes rebirth, so plant some flowers, plants, or trees together. Children love to help, and you can teach them about the planting process, feeding and nurturing what you plant, and how it grows.

– You can decorate a tree with Easter eggs for Spring.

– You can teach your child about the importance of giving. Have them help make, decorate, and fill an Easter basket. Then bring it to a neighbor, friend, or family member.

– Make the Easter meal together as a family. Let the children help because they love to feel like they accomplished something and helped mom and dad.

– If the weather permits, be outside! Everyone benefits from getting some sunshine and breathing in the fresh air. It is also very beneficial for children to explore the outdoors and nature.

Holidays bring families together, and family time is incredibly important for raising a healthy and secure child. Children learn from what they see, so show them what it means to be there for each other and truly with each other. It is a time when your children learn how to deal with all kinds of life situations, and they learn invaluable lessons.

 

So, don’t forget to stock up on some plastic Easter eggs, candy, small gifts/toys, and anything else you might need for Easter. Most of all just have fun!!

 

Do you love these ideas/activities and want more of them? You can have a box with age appropriate activities, that are developmentally correct and pediatric designed, shipped right to your door! Click the link below to get your box now!

Cooking with Kids

A A recent survey by Uncle Ben’s Beginners noticed that 90% of parents believe it’s important for their children to cook. Still, only 1/3 actually cook with their children on a weekly basis. Parents said that they would cook with their children more frequently if:

  • They had more time.
  • Their children were more interested.
  • They had better gastronomic skills.
  • It hadn’t made such a mess.

I’m going to be the first to admit that cooking with kids, may sound more hassle than it is worth. It takes much more cleanliness and patience than cooking on your own, but did you know that having your child to cook with you is important for their development? Ultimately yes, it might sound a little odd, but the fact is that it benefits your child at several levels from building an outstanding personality to improving visual and bilateral coordination -the ability to use both sides of the body at the same time in a controlled and organized manner-, cognitive and sensory skills (proprioception – lifting heavy pans, hot and cold sensations), etc. 

Here we will list several cooking activities that your kid can do showing the benefits of each activity:

Baking a Cake

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One of the most important points that you should consider to get your kids involved and interested in preparing recipes and baking is to let them play a role in the process. Instead of asking children to just watch the preparation of a cake recipe, give them something to do! Of course, parents should offer children age-appropriate activities when making a cake recipe. Letting Older kids participate and do more than younger ones is an excellent point to mention, but they can all play a role in making the cake. Putting together a cake recipe with children allows them to learn more about baking and cooking while creating entertainment for everyone to enjoy.

It can be any type of cake, let your child choose! When you start baking, you first need to get all the right ingredients and tools out together, this improves your child’s language by increasing vocabulary, recognizing tools, and linking the usage of them with the shape and color also enhances memory. Kids also have to follow directions, which enhances receptive language skills. While baking, also you should explain each step and have your child describe what they are doing for even greater language development. 

For more advanced learning, have them predict what will happen next or guess what the next ingredient would be.

Making cookies

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As they say, there’s never enough family time; sometimes, weekends reschedule a normal day-to-day routine. This gives you time to be with your kids and gives you a good chance to plan meals, look for recipes, and share some fun ideas about cooking delicious desserts. Simple choices, such as chocolate cookies!

Who doesn’t love cookies? Making chocolate cookies has many benefits for your child. Mixing the ingredients, rolling the dough and using cookie cutters are all great ways to enhance a child’s fine motor strength, control, bilateral coordination, in-hand manipulation, grasp patterns, fine motor control and coordination, separation of the two sides of the hand, and hand dominance. These are skills needed to develop academic skills such as writing, cutting, and coloring.

Fruit and cheese kabobs

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Safety is an essential thing to keep in mind when it comes to allowing children of any age to enter the kitchen. Ensure that the guidelines on food safety are fully understood and applied diligently. Posting a checklist or chart of kitchen safety tips in the kitchen is the right way to help younger kids remember them. For example, they should know how to wash their hands thoroughly before cooking. Hold your long hair pulled back and try to avoid loose clothes.

Fruit and cheese kabobs are healthy and easy snacks, and preparing it is so much fun! Let your child help you cut the fruits using safe knives. This will improve their skills and help them focus on keeping their fingers safe. Also, since fruits are full of different colors and each fruit has a different name, this will increase your child’s vocabulary. It can be a family activity that brings everyone together and creates a bonding experience.

Who doesn’t love cookies? Making chocolate cookies has many benefits for your child. Mixing the ingredients, rolling the dough and using cookie cutters are all great ways to enhance a child’s fine motor strength, control, bilateral coordination, in-hand manipulation, grasp patterns, fine motor control and coordination, separation of the two sides of the hand, and hand dominance. These are skills needed to develop academic skills such as writing, cutting, and coloring.

Adding spices and other ingredients

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Encourage your child to help you prepare different recipes, either by reading the recipe, which helps enhance reading comprehension or add the ingredients which increase focus and attention.

Children learn by touching, tasting, feeling, smelling, listening, and visual senses. You might not find a better idea than preparing a dinner dish with your kids, using different distinguishable spices to have all these learning and improvement methods for your kid at once!

By days, your kids will know how to distinguish different things using their senses, which will gradually make them smarter!

Turning on/off utensils

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Countertops, tools, and utensils should be cleaned properly before use. It is particularly important for your children to understand the consequences of eating food that has gone bad or cooking with contaminated utensils. Showing them how to use oven mitts, potholders, and cooling rack for hot items, in order to avoid accidents, all things should be well away from the edges of tables and countertops. To prepare for any emergency situations, post an emergency contact sheet and a first responder at an easily accessible location. Children will know how to use a fire extinguisher and how to escape if there’s a fire.

 Asking your child to turn on/off utensils such as dough maker switch will enhance their fine motor skills, sequencing, and attention. It will also make them feel good about themselves and that they have helped you.

Cooking cold meals for independent eating habits

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Your child can become ready to cook his own Mac and Cheese or PB & J sandwiches. Since cooking is a skill that is needed to be an independent adult. Kids can learn early on how to make their own sandwich, pour milk, or heat something in the microwave. Older kids can learn to cook meals for themselves and the family. This will allow them to be more independent and responsible individuals and boost self-confidence because when a child is able to successfully complete a recipe and make a meal, they will feel a sense of pride and confidence. In addition, as kids cook more, their level of independence increases, which in turn boosts their level of self-confidence and self-esteem. Cooking also teaches kids various safety lessons such as not to touch a hot stove or how to use a knife correctly.

 Asking your child to turn on/off utensils such as dough maker switch will enhance their fine motor skills, sequencing, and attention. It will also make them feel good about themselves and that they have helped you.

Clean-up chores

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Nobody likes chores that much, but if your child gets used to doing chores from a young age, it will make it easier for them when they get older. You can ask your child to help you with different chores such as cleaning the dishes, unloading the dishwasher, cleaning the table, and a lot more. This will make your kid more responsible and help teach teamwork.

There is so much more. You can really help your child develop different skills that are important throughout life.

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Children begin by loving their parents, as they grow older, sometimes they forgive them

– Paul Tournier

Finally, beside healthier central nervous system development, a beautiful and charismatic personality building, allowing children to help bake a cake or participate in making a dinner dish gives them an opportunity to learn more about the food they eat and general nutritional information. No doubt also that the time spent with the family strengthens relation bonding and puts you nearer to your kid’s hearts. They also get a chance to enjoy eating something they helped prepare for! your kids learn about making a cake, buying ingredients, and cleaning up the mess. In addition, in each baking project, they will become more used to the way things work in the kitchen. Unfortunately, many children are ignorant of how to prepare the simplest meals for themselves. Alternatively, your young children who have an opportunity to help make meals in the kitchen are more capable of making dishes for themselves as they get older. The cake baking project and other cooking projects give the kids a tremendous sense of accomplishment and confidence to try out more cooking projects. 

So are you ready for all that fun? Next time you cook a meal or bake a cake, let your kids help!