It is summer time and naturally it begs kids to get out and play. It is warm out and it’s time to have some outdoor fun. What a great opportunity to use summer as your theme to stimulate their senses. Children of all ages can enjoy the sights, smells and textures of summer to enhance their sensory experiences. Fond memories of childhood are deeply connected to our sense of touch and smell. Here are just a few ways to get their senses engaged!
- Sand is a great texture to play with. Even if you don’t live off a Coast, bring the experience home with Kinetic sand. It is the rage as it mimics the real thing bringing the beach experience right into your home. Grab a few plastic sandcastle molds and have your child use whatever you have right there in the kitchen to build an awesome castle of their own.
- Let’s face it…getting wet when it’s hot out is a thrill as a kid. Get the giggles going with fun water play and make sure you’re part of the action! Get a bucket of water for each of you, some soft sponges of all sizes, soak the sponges and start beaming them at one another. If your littlest one shies away from that then fill a bin with soapy water, pull out the figurines and toy cars and have a car wash. Squishy wet play is a great way to get those little hands strong!
- Flavors and smells of summer are a good way to get their minds and taste buds going. Slice up bite size morsels of your favorite summer melons: watermelon (of course!), honey dew, and cantaloupe. Have them close their eyes and play “mystery melon”—which one is their favorite? Then make some fun melon popsicles. Fill an ice cube tray with your favorite fruit juice and throw in some small chunks of watermelon, cover with plastic wrap, stick popsicle sticks or toothpicks in the middle of each square, freeze, and voila! Mini popsicles. Have your little helper fill the trays themselves and assist in handing over the sticks to you for a little fine motor challenge.
Enjoy your summer and we will be back soon with more fun tips. HOOT HOOT Hooray…let’s be creative and play!
Director of Fun, Co-Founder & Mother of Four
Registered Licensed Occupational Therapist (OTR/L)
Sensory Integration and Praxis Test Certified (SIPT)
Each HOOT for Kids blog represents our point of view but should not replace diagnosis and treatment from your own doctor or therapist.