With most of us on COVID lockdown these days, I thought it would be a good time to put out some sensory play ideas that you could utilize with your baby and/or toddler! Here’s some of our favorites. If you use any of these, make sure to tag us and let me know how it goes: @themommyofmayhem.
A word about activities with my 3 year old: they NEVER go the way I want them to. And I mean NEVER. And that’s alright. I think it’s all part of what God is teaching me through motherhood: that it’s OK to not be in control, that things will not go as planned and it will be alright. And sometimes, it’ll be even BETTER than I anticipated. Motherhood is messy, and at times turbulent, but I’m grateful for all the lessons God’s teaching me along the way.
1. The Smelling Game
This is one of my favorites, especially while cooking. I’ll take out different spices or ingredients and let the kids smell them (and, if they’re safe to eat, touch them). Our favorites are cinnamon, lemon, ginger, and coffee beans. When Finn was a baby, I had a spinning spice rack and we would put it on the floor and he loved to spin it around and shake the spice bottles. I would open up different spices and let him smell them. Now that Finn is older, we’ll play the “smelling game” where I blindfold him and he has to guess what ingredients I have based on the smell! He loves it!
2. Water beads
Water beads are so fun! They’re colorful and squishy, and it’s fun to watch them expand. I would recommend some caution with them, though, because they’re easy for little ones to ingest AND they can be messy. We only play with water beads on the porch these days. For Justus, I’ll put the water beads in a little plastic ziplock bag and tape it to the high chair tray so he can squish them around.
3. Painting (in a bag!)
Of course, you could just let your kids play with finger paint, but that’s really messy…
I created this Valentine’s Day craft after searching Pinterest for something like this and coming up empty. (I was also inspired by a coloring book session we had recently where Finn very clearly demonstrated his inability to color inside the lines – so I thought we’d practice with this craft!)
Right now, Finn LOVES doing “science experiments.” We received a super cool science kit from my mom (the chemist) for Christmas, and it has been the gift that keeps on giving. (And also the gift that keeps facilitating messes…)
Lately, it’s felt like our afternoons stretch on forever before it’s time to prep for dinner, so we’ve been doing science experiments to pass the time. I prep the activities at the end of nap time and then he has something to look forward to once he wakes up!
I’ve searched Pinterest for all sorts of science experiments, but it seems like I never have quite the right supplies or ingredients. These are the ones we’ve done that you should be able to do with supplies you have at home right now!
I don’t know about you, but just before dinner time is one of the toughest parts of the day. Trying to get a meal together while my kids are just DONE and I’m just DONE…is, well, how us moms lose our minds, amiright?!?
I thought I’d share some of my go-to activities that help me get through meal prep. The goal with these activities is that Finn can play by himself with minimal supervision (so, for example, painting/gluing/cutting something would be a big no-no). Also, I try to pick something that he can’t play with ALL the time. For example, he pretty much always has access to his trucks, but he doesn’t have unlimited access to his Play Doh. These activities might give me a solid 15 minutes of (mostly) uninterrupted time to get the bulk of the meal prep done. For most of these activities, I put Finn into his high chair or sit him at the kitchen table so I can keep an eye on him.