Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Sensory Play

This week I have been exploring colour and texture with Poppette. There are so many ways to stimulate the mind and imagination of a curious toddler whilst at the same time providing a great opportunity for language enrichment. I find many of my ideas on Pinterest (you can take a peek at my boards here) and on some great activity blogs which I follow. I have provided links to my sources below so do have a look if you're interested.

By far our favourite activity so far (and, when I say this, I mean the one that Poppette responded to the best in terms of enjoyment and time spent exlporing/ playing) was the mess free finger painting (idea from Hippie Housewife). It's soooo simple. I used the idea to introduce Poppette to the colour red. I simply gave her the paint board, showed her how to make a mark with her hand and a couple of other objects and then sat back and watched.... at first she squished the paint with her hands and we discussed how it felt (or rather, should I say, I spoke to her about how it might possibly feel to her), then I gave her a selection of red toys/ objects and she experimented with the effect that they had when she used them on the paint board e.g. she drove her red car over it and we looked at the tracks it made, she scraped a red fork over it, she stamped red shapes on it... she even walked and danced on it!!! So there was plenty to discuss whilst she amused herself.

We have also had fun with discovery bottles (idea from Pink Pistachio). I filled a bottle with water, pom poms and buttons in primary colours (and a couple of googly eyes just for extra fun). This gave us fabulous scope for discussing colours, things that float and sink, about bubbles which appear when you shake the bottle, about the sounds that you hear when you roll, shake or tip the bottle upside down and that's just for starters. As with anything, the trick is to be lucky enough to  pick contents that will hold your child's attention. Poppette is quick to leave to one side items that she deems to be of little interest (despite the time and effort her poor maman has put into their creation :D )

Finally, I made up a treasure basket (idea from Counting Coconuts). This is the first one I have ever attempted and I have to say I don't think it was a grand success. I looked around the apartment for things that Poppette hadn't come accross before that I thought she might like to touch, smell or look at. Inevitably, a few of these things were subjected to the taste test so I made sure I stayed by her side to supervise accordingly :D They key here is, again,to pick objects that will intrigue your child. I failed miserably. Poppette enjoyed scrunching the bubble wrap and playing with the bottle and jar lids and measuring cups but the rest of the contents just sat there looking...well, on reflection, I guess they looked BORING!!!

I have also come across some great ideas for texture cards (here at Engaging Toddler Activities and here at My Delicious Ambiguity) which I plan to adapt so that we can continue to play, learn and explore.

If you have any ideas for fun learning activities that you would like to share, I would love to hear them.


  1. Hello!
    I am really happy that I found a blog like yours. I am from Spain, and I am also trying to raise my little girl in a language that's not my native language. I talk to her in English and my husband talks to her in Spanish. We live in Spain. The thing is that I am going through a phase where I am not sure if I am doing it right. Sometimes I have many doubts. Would you mind answering some questions that I have? My e-mail is mifamiliamihogar@gmail.com. Merci beaucoup!!!

    1. Hi Irene

      Great to hear from you. Yes I will rop you a line direct.

  2. Anonymous12 June, 2012

    Oh wow, I'm so impressed. What a lot of fun you must be having! And putting in a good amount of work, too!
    I especially love the mess-free finger painting. I have to admit - I don't like messes (okay, despite the fact that my house is NEVER neat and organized the way I'd like). But I don't like cleaning up after messy art projects - hence we don't do them. But I've been wanting to venture into more arts & crafts with Aleksander. This is definitely one to try!! (Funny thing is - Aleksander doesn't like to get messy either! He's a super neat eater and makes us wipe his hands if he gets dirt on them. Hm, hope I haven't made him paranoid!! :))
    Can't wait to read more about your projects with Poppette!

    1. Ha ha... Poppette is just the same as Aleksander. She can't bear food on her hands or on her beloved Doudou... even the slightest crumb and there's outcry :D

      The interesting thing about the mess free boards is that the first time they use them, the children expect to et paint on their hands and Poppette spent a while inspecting her hands, feet and toys every time she touched the paint board until she finally accepted that the paint was contained.

  3. Thanks for sharing your adventures! We are also raising a bilingual child, I am from Mexico and my husband is American, so we want him to be fluent in Spanish and English but are also trying to add French and Chinese. It is indeed hard work!!! I am sure I will spend few hours reading your past blog entries. Courage!!!! Thank you again!

    1. Hi Gilda

      Great to hear from you. Wow, four languages!!! I would love to hear more about how you guys approach that and what you find works and what doesn't - are you chronicling it on your blog?