My library has been granted the great opportunity to offer our community a sensory playtime. A local private school generously donated money to help us get started and we are running with this chance. Since we did not know what to expect, we aimed for different stations that could entertain a small or large crowd.
Station 1: Mirrors for Sight
I placed out different mirrors for the kids to dress-up and see themselves. This was a double whammy, as it promoted sight and imagination. Not to leave the super young out, I had two large sheets with baby mirrors.
Station 2: Pots and Pans for Sound
What child doesn’t like making sweet music with their parents’ pots and pans? I had different shapes and styles of pots. I also provided different type of utensils for the children to bang on the pots and pans.
Station 3: Digging for Treasure (Touch)
Kids LOVE sand and what better sensory activity than for little hands to dig into sand for buried treasure. We had all sorts of items buried. There were toys, shells, and little gadgets. Sand digging is also great for developing muscles in the hands.
Station 4: Spaghetti for Touch/Taste
I made three different batches of spaghetti. One batch had absolutely nothing on it. The second batch had olive oil on it, and the last batch had orange extract with olive oil. This offered the kiddos the opportunity to feel the difference between the spaghetti. My first participants also got the chance to taste it before everyone’s hand were in it.
This was a smashing success! 113 people showed up!!! Since we went larger with our stations, parents/guardians could spend as little or as much time at each station. Some people went methodically and were done in 30 minutes while others jumped around. It was very common to see one child playing in the sand and the next minute putting a tiara on in front of the mirror.
The overall favorite was spaghetti! I had one child who did not want to share the spaghetti and would continuously hug it to her chest. Another child actually rolled in it! His mom just stripped him down and put new clothes on him right before they left.
Check out some images from the event:
- Buys LOTS of tarps. This can help keep the mess to minimum.
- Only have one messy item. I had two stations and they were a MESS after everyone left.
- If you do food, put out small quantities for parents/guardians to take for their child. My spaghetti was only good for one tasting session before it became a germ fest of little hands.