Sensory Play – Summertime

Sensory Play – Summertime

The inspiration for this summertime theme came from the lesson plan for Sensory Art, Messy Play for children with Autism – Painting it Yellow, A Sunny Day

The sensory play activities for the summertime theme included both art activities and general play. The room was set up to take the children on a journey around the different activities.

Using a range of art materials and household objects including paint, chalks, sand and water beads we re-created a day at the beach. Children went on a journey through a day out at the beach, including the long drive, the excitement of seeing the sea, playing in the sand and the water and of course, a little bit of sunbathing and camping.

Sensory Play Installation

  • We used sun umbrellas, bunting and tents to create a real summertime feel. Using these items we were able to create smaller spaces in the room for children to enjoy and have a bit of quiet.
  • The sand, buckets and spades created great fun. Most children tend to love this type of play, and using the bucket and spade, along with getting their hands dirty is not only great for fine motor development but can introduce different textures to children who are not always open to touching different things – a spade can be a helpful tool to allow children to play without feeling the sand.
  • In the sand area there was also shells, different yellow fabrics and sunglasses to help the children relax and pretend that were sunbathing.
  • To recreate the sea we used a space blanket, foil curtains, balloons and various other fabrics in blue and green, children loved to ‘swim’ though this looking for the fish!
  • Windmills are a summertime staple in the UK. They are also very good to encourage children to develop their oral motor skills and can help to calm children – just like sucking on a dummy.
  • Waterbeads also created endless hours of fun, we used them for water play with the boats! these are a great sensory prop because of their unusual texture and versatility but you need to use these with care as they must not be swallowed.
  • Sensory bags with waterbeads in make a great alternative for younger children, you can add anything to these for some sensory exploration. I used shells, paint and sand in these for the ‘Summertime’ theme.

Messy Play & Art

  • We used paints, cars and other forms of transport to recreate tyre tracks in the paint. this was great fun and helped children to understand the cause and effect of pushing the car.
  • We explored different ways of making marks (or tracks) in the paint including using rolling pins, wool, cotton wool, rubber bands and pegs.
  • Rolling pins with string, elastic bands, corrugated cardboard and bubble wrap make a really good fun and unusual markmaking tool.
  • We used straws to make marks with the paint, we used them as paint brushes as well as blew through them to move the paint around the paper. This is a really good way to develop oral motor skills which is good for children who struggle with their speech.
  • Waterbeads in paint bounce everywhere and make a mess but they are great fun.

Kids Activity kits

Please see my Etsy shop for your own gift box related to this sensory experience