If you've never been inside our studio, we'd love to give you a peek into one of our most special spaces.  This is our preschool art room.  We have ten classes a week in this room!  This space is especially designed for our 12 -month-olds through our five-year-olds and can be used for group instruction as well as creative exploration. 
Our decor is inspired by the principles of Reggio Emilia approach to the learning environment.  Click the link below to get a short video tour: 
 

Sensory Play

10/09/2014

 

What is Sensory Play

Sensory play includes any activity that stimulates your young child's senses: touch, smell, taste, sight and hearing. Sensory activities and sensory tables facilitate exploration and naturally encourage children to use scientific processes while they play, create, investigate and explore.
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Foot painting in the ORANGE EASEL studio

Why Sensory Play is Important

Toddlers and preschoolers need MANY MANY opportunities to get hands-on.  We learn through our senses...the more the better. Feel it. Hear it. Smell it.  See it.

Sensory play allows for self-discovery.  The open-endedness of it encourages imaginative play and problem solving.  Adults may not see "the point" of this type of play, since nothing is created or produced.  The child dictates the play that happens based on what he or she NEEDS to learn...cause-and-effect, the concept of filling-and-emptying, small world reenactment, etc.

Manipulating the sensory materials and tools also develops motor skills needed for future writing.  Scooping and pouring requires core strength, shoulder stability and wrist rotation.

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Field Corn in a sensory bin

Rules of Sensory Play

They aren't many.  There's no WRONG way to play in a sensory bin!  Let the play evolve. It will be different with different children and ages.

Scooping and pouring is just the beginning.  Add figurines and watch the imaginative play that happens.  Rice becomes dinosaur food.  Feed corn becomes the "water" that fills the toy swimming pool.  


"Keep it in the tub" isn't one of our rules.  It takes quite a bit of skill to "keep it in the tub" and it's not realistic to expect that of our little hands who are JUST learning to scoop and pour with precision.  A broom and a shop vac make quick work of clean up (bonus: most kiddos love using the shop vac) 

A Special note For big kids

It's easy to think that this type of play is only for the five-and-under crowd, but we encourage you to rethink that.  Older children enjoy this type of play JUST as much as the little ones.  Give them permission to explore and play.  They are still kids too.

Ideas For Sensory Play

For specific sensory play ideas check out our "Sensory Play" Pinterest Board:
 
 
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CLICK the photo to see all the details about Preschool Playtimes
Every Tuesday afternoon, there's a playgroup that meets here at Orange Easel.  Everyone is invited over to survive that post-nap, pre-dinner "witching hour."  

Our instructors take care of setting up intentional play stations, maintaining the stations during the playgorup and all the clean-up afterwards!  

Enjoy social time with your friends and fellow parents while the kids explore in our creative playroom.  Come-and-go as your schedule allows. Parent handouts are provided that describe each of the stations and their play-benefits.  To view our handout for August 5th, click here.
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Exploring a "small world" invitation on top of the fort (rocks, dinosaurs, and tree blocks)
Each week has a different set of activities and a different a educational focus:

1st Tuesday: FINE MOTOR
2nd Tuesday: GROSS MOTOR
3rd Tuesday: SENSORY PLAY
4th Tuesday: IMAGINATIVE PLAY

RATES:
$10.00 per child (12 months and up)
**$5.00 discounted rate for enrolled students** 

IMPORTANT: We take all forms of credit and debit cards in the studio.  No cash or checks.