There’s many different versions of this sensory play activity on the ‘gram and here’s ours! Sorting activities are so beneficial to little learners: they can help them to build on preexisting knowledge (in this case, animal names and habitats) and boost development of hand-eye coordination. Read on to find out more…
This sensory sort can work from as young as 12 months (either choose land or sea) or for preschoolers as a sort and play exercise.
As with all of the activities featured on this website, please supervise closely.
Here’s just a few reasons why you should try sorting activities with your little ones:
- Develops problem solving skills
- Helps understanding of mathematical concepts such as matching and classifying (you can even count the animals in each tray afterwards)
- Boosts language skills – each animal can be named and their habitat discussed
- Helps children to cross the midline
- Works fine motor skills
- Helps to develop hand strength and fine motor skills
- Develops perseverance for tricky tasks
You will need:
- 2 trays (we used the Flisat table)
- Food colouring in blue and green
- Plain flour
- Shaving foam
- Herbs from the garden
- A selection of animal figurines from both the land and sea, presented in a bowl/ tray
- A selection of kitchen utensils.
- A towel – place underneath the trays or table you are using to prevent slipping.
- Wipes or damp cloth
- Sprinkle a thin layer of plain flour into the bottom of each tray.
- Add drops of food colouring on top – the more you use, the darker the colour!
- Gradually add water until you get a gloop like consistency.
- If you wish, add herbs to the ‘land’ tray and shaving foam to the ‘sea’ bin.
- Place a variety of land and sea creatures into a tray for sorting.
Miss 3 wanted to sort the animals (which she did at top speed) but wasn’t at all interested in play. Mr 14 months however was all about exploring the trays – so I guess we can call that a win?
Here’s the thing about sensory play: it doesn’t always work out exactly as intended but that doesn’t mean it was a complete failure. Sometimes children need to be introduced to a new sensory experience on a few occasions before they will really engage so I will be trying a similar activity to this in the future.
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