As we approach the warmer months of the year, it can become particularly difficult to keep the kids cool, especially when they love to run around for hours on end! So, why not combine everything that we love about sensory play and add a few elements that will help to keep the kids cool? That way, they can have plenty of engaging fun without feeling exhausted from the heat!
1. Sensory Ice Cubes
Getting the chance to introduce children to shapes and colours is always a great learning activity, especially when it helps them to cool down in the hot weather! Grab some silicone ice moulds, you can find tons with various shapes and sizes, and fill them up with water! You can even add food colouring and different objects into the moulds too. Try adding some glitter, beads, petals or even small figures to make them even more engaging. Then, once they have frozen into solid cubes, take them out and let the kids take them out of the moulds and become accustomed to the texture and temperature of the cubes as they play!
2. Ice Painting
Ice painting is a great way to use the sensory ice cubes that we explored earlier on. By adding food colouring into the ice cubes you created, they will begin to leak colours as they begin to melt. Let the kids try creating pictures with different coloured cubes and let the hot weather melt them as they try to draw! For a bit of extra fun, try finding an ice mould that creates longer ice that can be held like a pen or pencil to make it easier for children to hold and paint with!
3. Ice Treasure
Ice treasure works best with bigger moulds, but smaller ones can work just as well if that's all that is available! Similarly to how we created the sensory cubes, fill ice moulds or containers with water and add secret items that will engage and excite the kids! Try using small figures or brightly coloured items that will interest them! Then, one your water has frozen into ice, let the children try to get to the treasure hidden inside. This can be done by using toy chisels and mallets, or by adding them into a bowl of lukewarm water and encouraging your child to play with them until they melt!
4. Ice and Water Sensory Bin
Sensory bins are always a great way to get kids engaged in sensory play, and the hot weather doesn't mean this has to stop! An ice and water themed sensory bin is a little different to the sensory bins that we are used to building. To begin with, we need to ensure that the container we are using is waterproof to avoid any leaks and unnecessary mess. Letting children engage in water play is likely to result in at least a little bit of mess, which is why it is best to use a water sensory bin outside! Fill your container with water and add any type of items that can be used within it! This could be plastic cups and tubs that can be used to pour and move the water around, as well as objects you can submerge, such as bath toys! The addition of ice can also allow children to become accustomed to different temperatures and textures within water, whilst also providing a great way to cool off in warm weather!
These are just a few ways that you can include sensory play into your summer activities whilst helping the kids cool off in the hot weather! Keep an eye out for some more summer activities and great ways to engage in sensory play as summer approaches!