Sensory play. Have you ever wondered why on Earth is allowing a toddler to make a mess in your kitchen so GOOD FOR THEM? Simple answers with a bunch of reasons - below. Accompanied by several useful hints to make it less messy and EASIER FOR YOU.
Now, off we can go to a simple toddler sensory play activity, play with flour in the kitchen:
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- some flour,
- a large bowl (the larger the better) and
- (optional) a small cup and/or a spoon
... for your kid to use before starting to explore the texture using his hands. Our kid usually starts using a kitchen utensil, but then after a minute or two starts using fingers and palms to play with the texture of the flour.
BONUS HINT for moms - less cleaning required:
KEY BENEFITS OF SENSORY PLAY
.. or why it's well worth being a mom crazy enough to allow your kitchen and your toddler clothes be filled with clouds of flour - and other types of messy play:
- children learn through their senses: they understand the world best when they can touch/see/smell/feel/hear their environment.
- sensory play helps building neural connections in the brain - basically, this means it supports child's brain development
- sensory play fosters creativity
- it improves hand-eye coordination
- it's great for fine motor skills development
...to name just the most obvious few. And have you ever tried how good it feels running your fingers through dry sand, flour, or wheat? It must be so much fun for the little ones!!!
For more information on sensory play with flour, you'll find an excellent post by an occupational paediatric therapist and mom, Anna from Kids Playspace. Easy to understand and packed with useful information, I highly recommend it!
Or, if you want more information on sensory bins, you might want to check out this e-book by Sharla Kostelyk:
TURNING IT INTO BAKING TIME!
What to do in a messy kitchen, just after the sensory play with flour is over? It felt wrong to start cleaning up just yet - and since the atmosphere was just right for baking (a cloud of flour still hovering over the kitchen counter), we made yummy poppy seed cupcakes.
I find the two things go hand in hand: kids playing in the kitchen when it's baking time and vice versa, baking when kids are ready to play with flour. (And they always are.) Meaning there is always just the right time for cookies or cupcakes. :)
As usually, we were working together. Me adding the ingredients, the kid mixing them in a single bowl (really simple recipe!). This is how they looked like:
If you'd like to check the CUPCAKE RECIPE, it's the same as this one in the post where I showed you how to make vegan fruit cupcakes - just use poppy seeds instead of the berries.(We made these cupcakes using the original ingredients, not the vegan ones, if you are wondering.)
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