The story behind our 31 Day Sensory Play Challenge
Last year I was a Primary School teacher turned Stay At Home Mum who had no idea how to play with my 18 month old son. Despite following a play based curriculum at school I was struggling with entertaining my own child. We had a living room filled with plastic toys yet Adam was bored and need more challenges.
In November 2013 I decided to embark on a 30 Day Toddler Play Challenge, inspired by Imagination Tree. We set aside just 15 minutes a day for both of us to be involved in uninterrupted play. The challenge immediately changed the way I viewed playing with toddlers. I went from having zero ideas to a brain bursting with play activities. Objects found around the house took on a new light and were turned into play opportunities I wanted to try out. After 30 days Adam and I were hooked and we carried on to complete a 100 Day Challenge before starting Adventures of Adam to blog about our play adventures.
The challenge got me thinking. If I, a trained educational professional, struggled to play with my child then how did other parents manage. Many parents assume you have to spend a small fortune on all singing all dancing toys to stimulate, educate and entertain your child, but this is not the case.
Why take part in sensory play?
Sensory play is play that encourages children to use one or more of their senses – sight, sound, smell, touch or taste. We love sensory play because it helps to develop and improve gross and fine motor skills, co-ordination and concentration. Through using their senses to discover and explore their environment children develop their imagination, creative thinking and problem solving skills. There are many benefits to sensory play. Have a read of these two posts to find out more:
Adventures of Adam 31 Day Sensory Play Challenge
In January 2015 we are embarking on a 31 Day Sensory Play Challenge and are inviting you and your little ones to join in.
We have created a list of 31 sensory prompts to guide you through 31 days of sensory play. We will be basing our sensory play around a different object each day. If this list looks daunting then take a look at our Inspiration page. Here you will find 93 sensory ideas for the month that Adam or our blogging friends have already tried and tested. You do not have to follow these activities to the letter – they are to give you ideas and inspiration on how to play with each resource.
Every day throughout January Adam and I will be taking part in a new sensory play activity based on the object for that day. We will blog our post at 7am to give you even more inspiration for the day.
That is not all. We have teamed up with bloggers from around the world who will also be posting a related sensory play activity on their own blog.
How can I take part in the 31 Day Sensory Play Challenge?
Taking part is easy. Here is a list of which object we will be using each day in January:
1st – Cotton Wool Play 2nd – Rice Sensory Bin 3rd – Shaving Foam
4th – Play Dough 5th – Jelly 6th – Slime or Gloop
7th – Sensory Fun in the Bath 8th – Bubble Wrap 9th – Pasta Play
10th – Sensory Play using Kitchen Cupboard Items 11th – Sticky Play 12th – Bubbles
13th – Exploring Texture / Sensory stepping stones 14th – Ice
15th – Scented Play Dough 16th – Light Play / Glow Sticks
17th – Sensory Play using Recycled Materials 18th – Food Colouring
19th – Cloud Dough 20th – Snow (Real or Artificial) 21st – Sensory / Discovery Bottles
22nd – Beans / Lentils Sensory Bin 23rd – Exploring Sounds 24th – Sensory Bags
25th – Water Beads 26th – Pipe Cleaners 27th – Edible Play
28th – Masking Tape 29th – Balloon Play 30th – Cereal Sensory Bin 31st – Straws
The second calendar, which you can download, has space for you to add your own ideas or list items you will need to prepare in advance for each sensory medium. Click here to download either calendar and take a look around Best Toys 4 Toddlers blog
Have a think about how you could use that object in a sensory play activity – remember we have a list of 93 activity ideas to give you some inspiration. We have also written a shopping list to help you find some of the resources we love to use here at Adventures of Adam.
That is not all. We have teamed up with an amazing group of kid bloggers to bring you the 31 Day Sensory Play Challenge Blog Hop. Each day a blogger will share a sensory play activity linked to the chosen resource on their own site. Take a look at the fantastic ideas.
Then set aside 15 minutes each day throughout January where you and your child will not be interrupted during your sensory play fun. Remember to take some photographs of your child playing.
After your activity go to the Adventures of Adam Facebook page and post a photograph of your play adventure from that day. Give us a short description of how your sensory play went. Your photographs can help inspire other parents across the globe. The Adventures of Adam Facebook page will be open throughout the month of January.
If you are on Twitter you can tweet your photographs to @AdventuresAdam. Add the hashtag #31DaySensoryPlayChallenge to share the sensory play love.
If you are on Instagram then you can post your sensory play photographs there. Remember to tag us – adventuresadam – and add the hashtag #31DaySensoryPlayChallenge
At the end of each week we will add these photographs (with your permission) on the Adventures of Adam blog. If you would like weekly updates of the sensory play challenge direct to your inbox then subscribe to our newsletter.
Don’t forget to follow our 31 Day Sensory Play Challenge Pinterest board for even more great sensory play ideas!
Tell your friends you are taking part. Grab the image below, share it on your social media and spread the sensory play love.
So who is up for taking part in the 31 Day Sensory Play Challenge?
Write a comment below to tell us if you will be participating. Which resource are you most looking forward to using in your play?