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Ladybird Sensory Play

Ladybird Sensory Play

I know lots of you follow us on Instagram and watch our stories. If you got round to watching them recently you will know that the boys have started to spot ladybirds/ladybugs whilst out and about exploring the great outdoors. I wanted to build on this once we were back at home so I set a little sensory play up for them. 

I follow lots of inspirational people on Instagram. I was inspired by a wonderful set up by - Makes Sense Toys . It was the perfect time to give it a go and as always was well received by the children.

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Ladybird Sensory Play

I grabbed a tray that I use all the time for our play set ups. I purchased it for £12.99 in Home Sense. TKMax were also selling them last year. They are perfect to house these sort of activities. This is quite a large tray and I find that 3 children can comfortably fit around it to play, with the additional items such as bowls and books to take a look at too. 

I filled the tray with red rice that I have dyed myself using food colouring. I reuse all of our dried food materials and have used this rice countless times. I store them all in a cupboard in my kitchen in air tight containers. I used black turtle beans for the head, wing separation and spots. 

I added some ladybird life cycle figures, bowls and spoons for filling and emptying along with a few books - 

Ladybird Sensory Play

I am often asked how to make activities suitable for a mixed ages. Neve is 6 and the boys are 2 at the moment. I made this activity suitable for both by covering different things as we played together. 

Ladybird Sensory Play

With Neve I sat and spoke with her about the life cycle and what the different stages were called. 
I brought this set from a local Garden Centre, but you can see this Ladybird Life Cycle set on Amazon too.

I used a piece of cardboard to map out the cycle and the stage names and popped it beside the sensory tray for he to discover in her own time.

Ladybird Sensory Play

I later went on to challenge Neve to see if she could remember the order of the stages and the names by removing the card. 

With the boys we talked about colours, the spots and we counted out the black beans. 
Sensory play is excellent for children of all ages. Whether children are 2 years old or 9 years old there is something for all to be learnt or explored.

Its a great calming experience usually and a lovely way to bring your children together to play alongside one another.

Lets take a look at this activity in action:

Ladybird Sensory Play

Yes this was set up to spark Ladybird/Ladybug discussions but roll with the children's ideas. It may be that during the activity you talk about 1 or 2 things that develop their knowledge and understanding of ladybirds but then their imaginations will ignite and this ladybird activity soon became a kitchen. 

Adding ingredients to a bowl, counting out the spoonfuls as they went. 
They shared materials with one another and played in harmony. Language was encouraged by Neve playing with them and introducing new words. Taking a back seat I could see they can happily identify the colours before them - blue, white, black and red. Now I can go on to set more activities up to encourage the learning of more colours. 

Just because an activity has veered away from the play and no longer represents what it did when you offered it to them doesn't make it unsuccessful. In fact its the complete opposite - this is a hugely successful learning experience. The few things we discussed are more likely to be retained as we haven't put any pressure on the children. I answered and explained questions they had and took a step back for them to enjoy the opportunity that was before them. 

Ladybird Sensory Play

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