Although most of us have been taught about the five senses, scientists are discovering that there are in fact more than that—potentially up to nine, including senses such as balance and coordination. Younger children are constantly testing the limits and learning more about their own senses, so including some multisensory activities at home is a great way to help them develop key skills. Check out these straightforward (and relatively mess-free!) activities which are great fun for kids and parents alike!
Whether you make your own finger puppets or buy some in, playing with puppets is a great way to develop your child’s visual skills and fine motor skills (which include skills such as finger grip and dexterity). It can take some practice to manipulate a puppet effectively, but in learning this your kid will be developing several essential hand-eye coordination skills. Joining in with them will make the activity more immersive and fun, and this is a great thing to do on a wet and rainy winter afternoon.
Playing with and shaping modeling clay is another way to develop your child’s fine motor skills, but this activity can also teach them about perseverance and focus. Set them a challenge to create a model of something in your home, and most children will quickly become absorbed in this activity. If you’re worried about the mess, lay down some old paper or a sheet over the surface your child is working on, and get everyone kitted out with an apron.
Experimenting with trying different foods and really noticing the tastes, textures, and smells is a great way to get your kids absorbed in a sensory activity. If you do this as a family, you are sure to have loads of fun comparing what you’re tasting, and this can also be a good way to introduce foods your child is refusing to taste.