Here’s this week’s segment
2.7.12 Valentine’s Day Sensory Boxes
Begin with a medium to large sturdy plastic container. Select a filler such as beans, rice, pasta, shredded paper, or any other material that would be fun to feel. Include a couple of “tools.” Toddlers love spoons of all sizes, measuring cups, and small shovels.
One fun trend is to add objects related to a central language theme. Since this is for Valentine’s Day I added heart-shaped stickers, blocks, small and large foam pieces, stirring sticks, glitter wands, beads, bracelets, squishy fidgets, muffin papers, and small cups. Be creative!
1. Build attention and participation. Include objects you know will appeal to a child’s sensory preferences. If he?s a visual kid, pick cool things for him to look at and explore. If he’s a kid who likes to pinch and pull, add squishy figdets.
6. Demonstrate fine motor skills. Stir. Pour. Scoop. This is super practice for kids who are also working on self-feeding. You can also practice all of those prewriting skills – peel paper off stickers, operate tongs, stack smaller blocks, yada yada yada.
7. Understand new words. Go beyond labeling the nouns! Target new comprehension targets with prepositions (in, out, on, off, under), new verbs (pat, squeeze, squish, scoop, dig, dump, pour, shake, hide, etc?), and new descriptive words (BEYOND COLOR WORDS!). Try shiny, pretty, size words big/little, yucky, squishy, etc.
8. Say new words. Don’t forget your exclamatory words whee, wow, whoa, and boo (as you find hidden objects). Create verbal routines to build automatic speech so kids learn to fill in the blank with your cute routines such as “Scoop. In. Scoop. In. Scoop. ____.”