From birth, a child’s brain develops at an extraordinary speed. By the time the average child reaches the age of three, their brain has formed 1,000 trillion connections between neurons. Brain development is enhanced by meaningful relationships, sensory play and activities such as talking, singing, movement and exploring. 

Activities such as sensory play facilitate exploration and naturally encourage children to play, create, investigate and explore. This stimulates senses which help children develop cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional, physical, and creative development.

1. Simple and Safe Slime 

Finally, a slime that doesn’t require a year’s supply of glue. Non-toxic, super simple slime for hours of sensory play fun. 
What you need 
3 tablespoons of chia seeds 
1 cup of water 
Food colouring (optional) 
cups of cornflour 

What to do 
1. In a small bowl add the water, chia seeds, and a few drops of food colouring and stir until the chia seeds are no longer floating on the surface. 
2. Cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator overnight. 
3. Remove cover and add the cornflour a little at a time. 
4. Mix and then continue adding cornflour until you achieve the desired consistency. 

2. Nature Meets Water 

It is very simple to create your own water sensory play experiences at home. 
Here are some other ideas: 
Discover what lives below the sea by creating your own ocean sensory play bin. 
Create your own miniature duck or frog pond. 
Utilise the natural resources in the garden – the more textures you add, the better. 

3. Ice Sensory Play 

Ice makes for a fun, free and simple sensory play material. Ice and water play make the best non-messy, messy play around. Just keep a couple of towels handy, and you are good to go. 
Here are some other ideas: 
Pour water into the containers – older children will be capable of filling containers independently whilst younger children may need some support such as a cup or laundry powder scoop to pour the water. 

Food dye could be added for an interesting effect. 
Consider creating different depths of water. 
Toys or natural items could be added to some of the containers to create some interest within the ice. 
Place water filled containers in the freezer. 
Children will enjoy assisting with the tidying up after the experience – drying dishes and packing away toys and containers that were not used. 
Together, check on them in the freezer intermittently, to see what is happening

4. Natural Playdough 

Playdough is always a crowd-pleaser sensory play activity for little ones and something you can quickly whip up at home. 
What you need 

2 cups of flour 
3/4 cup of salt 
4 teaspoons cream of tartar 
2 cups of lukewarm water 
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil* 
Fresh herbs e.g., lavender, rosemary, mint, basil 
Essential oils (optional) 

What to do 
1. Mix the flour, salt, cream of tartar and water in a saucepan over medium heat until thick. 
2. Allow the mixture to cool and then add the oil, fresh herbs and essential oils, and knead well over a floured chopping board or in a bowl. 

Click here for more sensory play ideas