picture of happy children outside in the sunshine surrounded by bluebells

3 Sensory Activities to Celebrate Spring

Does your little one love to explore the world around them? Springtime, with beautiful blooms, baby animals, and sunshine-filled days, is a magical time for children to discover new sights, sounds, and textures. 

Busy Bees, believe in fostering a love of learning through play, and sensory activities are a fantastic way to do this! 

Jenny Shaw, Lead Academic Research and Developer at Busy Bees shares why it's so significant:

"Sensory play serves as a great tool for development, it helps children's brains make sense of the world by fine-tuning their senses, which means better coordination and an understanding of how things work.

"Sensory play also promotes cognitive development by fostering problem-solving skills, critical thinking, and creativity. Through hands-on exploration of different materials, children engage in open-ended experimentation - every activity is a chance for children to use their imagination, learn and discover.’

"In addition, sensory play provides a great opportunity for language development and social interaction. As children articulate their sensory experiences and engage in collaborative activities with other children and their family, they expand their vocabulary, communication skills, and understanding of social dynamics. Sensory play isn't just fun – it's essential for building well-rounded little humans.’’

This how to guide is packed with fun and easy spring-themed sensory ideas that you can create at home with your child. Through these playful experiences, your child will be strengthening their senses, developing their imaginations, and creating happy Spring memories!

Spring Gloop

Gloop is a wonderful sensory play idea for your child. It is about the process of exploring rather than creating an end product. This sensory activity will help develop their fine motor skills and strengthen their hand muscles – which is an essential pre-writing skill. 

Safety: Ensure that you use safe flowers and herbs that won't cause skin irritations. Ensure your child knows not to put the materials in their mouths. 

picture of hands in a bowl of goop What you’ll need:
1.    A tray or bowl
2.    Cornflour
3.    Herbs or flowers collected from a walk or the garden.
4.    Water
5.    Apron or clothes you don’t mind getting mucky!
6.    Small jug
7.    Mixing tools

What you’ll do:
1.    Start with a sprinkle! Pour a gentle layer of cornflour onto a tray. Now, grab a small jug and invite your little one to carefully pour a little water next to the cornflour.
2.    Mixing Magic! Time to get messy! Encourage your child to use their mixing tools or even their hands to gently combine the water and cornflour. This will create a gloopy mixture that's super fun to play with.
3.    Let's Talk Texture! As your child plays, ask them questions to help them explore the changing textures. "Does our mixture feel smooth or bumpy?" "Do you think we need a little more water, or are we good?"
4.    Spring Scents! Once the gloop is perfect, it's time for some springtime fun! Add some pretty flowers or fragrant herbs to the tray. Let your child smell the flowers or herbs and describe the scents together. Is it sweet, spicy, or maybe fresh?

Nature Soup

Feeling peckish after all that spring exploring? Let's whip up a delicious (and imaginary!) pot of spring soup using some treasures found in the garden! This sensory play activity is perfect for little ones who love exploring nature and using their imaginations.
Safety: Ensure that your child is appropriately clothed for this water play experience. Be mindful of the leaves and flowers you add to the water, making sure they are clean and safe for your child. Try and prevent your child from placing natural items in their mouth as they may pose a choking risk. 

What you’ll need:
1.    A washing-up bowl or another large container
2.    Kitchen utensils like sieves, whisks, wooden spoons, jugs, and saucepans
3.    Suitable clothes for water play 

What you’ll do:
1.    Let's Go Exploring! Grab your favourite kitchen utensils and head outside to the garden. See what treasures you can find!
2.    Warm Water Fun! Back inside, fill a washing-up bowl or container with a bit of warm water. This is the base for our delicious spring soup!
3.    Nature's Ingredients! Remember those leaves, petals, herbs, or flowers you collected? Let's add them to our soup pot! See what other interesting things you can find in the garden.
4.    Soup Time! Now for the fun part! Encourage your child to use their utensils to stir, ladle, and pretend to cook their yummy spring soup. Join in the fun and describe what they're doing together!

picture of a child picking flowers outside

Spring Sensory Bags

Ready for a sensory adventure? Let's create a squishy surprise bag filled with treasures from nature! This Spring sensory activity is perfect for curious little ones who love exploring textures and feeling the world around them. We'll use water, a little bit of oil, and some natural finds to create a fun and engaging sensory experience!
Safety: When children are playing with sensory bags, ensure they are always supervised. Ensure that they are well secured so the items inside do not become loose. Consider your child's allergies ahead of this experience. 

What you’ll need:
1.    Zip lock bags.
2.    Collection of natural objects such as flowers, petals, leaves, or grass
3.    Water
4.    Oil

What you’ll do:
1.    Squishy Surprise! First, let's create a sensory surprise bag! Pour some water and a little bit of cooking oil into a zip-lock bag. Now comes the fun part - it's time to add some treasures from nature!
2.    Seal and Squish! Once you've added some interesting natural things, carefully zip the bag closed, making sure it's nice and secure. Now, the fun begins! Let your little one squeeze, press, and explore the bag with their hands. You can use tape to attach the edges of the bag to a hard surface if needed.
3.    Feel and See! As your child plays, encourage them to describe what they feel and see through the bag. Is it smooth or bumpy? Can they spot any interesting shapes or colours?
Spring is a season bursting with sensory experiences! From the vibrant colours of flowers to the delightful textures of leaves, and with warmer weather on the horizon, it’s much easier to get out and about with your little one!
These sensory activities are just a starting point to help your child explore the wonders of spring and create happy memories along the way. 

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