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Heart Themed Sensory Play

Heart Themed Sensory Play for Preschoolers

Following on from all the lovely heart themed activities we have been enjoying as of late, today I am sharing another one we had fun with today.

Now the boys are getting a little older they seem to be really gravitating towards sensory play. They have such fleeting attentions usually but activities like this are really keeping them engaged.

I grabbed the K-Mart style tray that I managed to find in Home Sense (UK) for around £12. I really like using these. They're perfect to contain an activity and all 3 of my children can play alongside one another using the tray comfortably. 

Here is how the invitation to play looked:

Heart Themed Sensory Play for Preschoolers

I coloured this rice over a year ago. We have used it for lots of play invitations including Chinese New Year. I store it after each play session in an air tight container and it keeps great until next time. 

I also used some white rice to fill the heart shaped cookie cutters that I popped into the tray. I included different sizes to offer the chance to discuss mathematical language. Filling them with white rice provided a contrast that the children really liked.

Heart Themed Sensory Play for Preschoolers

I scattered some heart confetti that I have had in the craft draw for a couple of years now. I picked it up from The Range (UK). I added some pom poms and the super cute gnomes I had made by Through Play We Learn. It was a set of dolls part of the Autumn collection. 

Heart Themed Sensory Play for Preschoolers

With the additions of some tweezers and scoops that I had saved from the baby milk tins we were all set to go. I placed the tray down onto the floor and waited for them to notice. 

Their little faces light up when they see an activity set out for them like this. It melts my heart every time!

Heart Themed Sensory Play for Preschoolers

It didn't take long for them to mix the white and red rice together. It was the first mission of all 3 of them to make sure that happened. They used the scoops to fill up the cookie cutters and loved the sparkles that came off the confetti!

Heart Themed Sensory Play for Preschoolers

They spent quite a long time scooping, emptying and feeling the rice falling through their fingertips.

I love when they play contently alongside one another like this. I have found these set ups to be a real game changer for bringing about moments of calm.

Heart Themed Sensory Play for Preschoolers

It was at this point that I offered them more containers to fill and empty. This included the ice cube tray I used in the Pom Pom Ice Sensory Play and the heart containers. They took it in turns and shared amongst one another so well.

Lets take a look at the Heart Sensory Tray in Action:

Heart Themed Sensory Play for Preschoolers

And this is what the activity looked like when we had finished. 45 minutes of playing. 

I get so many messages from people saying how pointless it is to set up activities like this as the children 'ruin' them so quickly. Perspective is vital here. Take a moment to look at what the children are doing whilst they sit at the activity. Are they playing alongside their peers? Sharing? Exploring texture? Using their imagination and problem solving? 
Perhaps they're using the activity as a means to regulate their feelings. Have the come to play here because they need some quieter time? 
What language are they using? Through your observation you can learn so much from set ups like this. They are SO worth the time putting together. 

This is exactly what we want to see at the end of the activity - that things have been explored and moved. That imagination, creativity and fun have been here.

Until the next time - keep playing and having lots of fun. 

Heart Themed Sensory Play for Preschoolers

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Other posts to check out on Learning and Exploring Through Play:

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Recycled Valentines Crafts for Preschoolers    Recycled Valentines Crafts for Preschoolers    Sensory Winter Play for Preschoolers

Mark Making with Kinetic Sand    Plastic Easter Egg Art Ideas    Space Themed Sensory Play Small World

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