Structured Or Sensory Play?

Structured Or Sensory Play?

Structured Or Sensory Play?

You know how it is with kids; when they want to play, they want to play now. They love to have adult involvement as well and many times want you to play with them- not just by themselves or with a playmate. If you’ve ever had a child insist on you playing a game with them, then you know how the requests keep on coming until you play. It’s not always easy to stop what you are doing to play. 

Parents often wonder if they should let their kids have fun and play with sensory play toys like Glow Dough or if they should encourage a little more of a structured approach. Both methods have their benefits. 

stretching rainbow glow dough

Kids who play with play dough tend to do well in school as they are learning through trial and error, imitation, and observation of their surroundings. They are developing their hand-eye coordination. 

A great way for parents to encourage a little more of a structured approach is to set rules and stick to them. That may sound harsh, but they are going to need to know boundaries and discipline to survive. My mom always told me to never say anything to my children that I wouldn’t do. Such as, “I will throw your ice cream out the window if you don’t stop screaming.” If I really wouldn’t throw that ice cream right out the window, I should not say it. Watch the structure too, don’t take away all the toys and privileges as consequences, try using a positive approach. 

One way to use both structure and sensory play and one of my favorite things to do with my kids is to “play house”. My daughter loves this and she also gets to practice her fine motor skills and learns how to share. Be sure to notice what they do while playing “house” because they are mirroring the way they are taught in your home. It’s a really good lesson for us to see what they are catching from observing us. It’s great to work with our kids and to teach them new skills and how to deal with change.

sensory play in sand

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