So if you are not really excited about having a mess in your house, use these 4 simple tips to make the sensory play less messy. It will keep you sane and the child happy 🙂
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1) USE THE SENSORY MATERIAL YOU ARE COMFORTABLE WITH.
If you don't (yet) feel like exposing your kitchen right away to corn meal or flour, don't. Don't feel bad, it's totally OK. Your kitchen, your rules 😉 You might feel better trying out a bean or RICE SENSORY BIN at the beginning. Rice is easier to contain than corn meal, and beans are even easier to clean up. I can tell you first-hand and you have easily guessed that too. 🙂 Have a look at this post to get an idea of how to set up the simplest rice sensory bin:
2) LIMIT THE SPILL-OUT AREA
- If the sensory play is happening on the kitchen table, place a second (shallow) tray under the first tray/bin, so the majority of the sensory material will be caught.
- Or you can try placing the sensory material into a deeper baking pan. Or, even better -
- Move the sensory activity to the floor, using an old bed sheet that will catch most of the stuff and mark the play territory (much like a Montessori rug, just larger). Works really well in our home, we did it also with this forest sensory bin!
- Dust off your kids' clothes well at the end of playing with cornmeal or flour. You don't want them to leave tracks all around the house, do you? 😉
3) IF YOU ARE TOO TIRED, DON'T.
4) BRING IT OUTDOORS.
And if it's beans, wheat, corn or other seeds in the play, you might get an extra benefit from it: have a thorough look at the outside play area a few weeks later, some of the seeds might even sprout. An extra gardening lesson for your toddler, sensory bins aside!
...Or perhaps the easiest solution: jump straight to playing with regular sand in the sandbox. No, I'm not offering a link to this one 🙂 as I know you have a perfectly good idea about it. Enjoy playing, you and your kids!