Using a tray to encourage play
Sensory play is one of the most valuable things you can do with your child. Allowing them to independently experience the world in their own way through fantastic homemade toys is a brilliant way of introducing sensory play. Sensory play offers the opportunity to experiment, manipulate, explore and learn using all of their six developing senses.
Setting up a sensory play tray doesn’t need to be difficult or expensive, in fact you can easily get together some bits for a fantastic play tray in a matter of minutes. For our sensory play tray me and my daughter use our fantastic Trabasack. The Trabasack as a multipurpose bag and tray which we can easy attach to our buggy and then play can begin. My daughter isn’t old enough to sit up unaided so it allows her to enjoy all the fun of sensory play in the comfort of her buggy. The Trabasack easily fits onto any buggy and its bag compartment means we can store our sensory toys inside when we’re done!
Anyway, back to making your sensory toys. There are unlimited options and ideas for creating fantastic sensory toys for your play tray. Our favourites include Snack tube shakers (filling cardboard tubes with dry peas or lentils), Homemade play dough (we used mashed up oats, flour and water – don’t try and store this in your Trabasack) and of course bubbles (generally washing up liquid). These are just a few options you could consider for your sensory play tray. One of our other favourite props for sensory play is the common sock! Filling a sock with lentils, smelly pot pourri or paper can provide a great experience for all the senses, from crackly paper to sweet smelling flowers, socks are great fun and really economical. You can store your whole range of sensory socks in your Trabasack and keep them for every play session.
Our Trabasack was bought with the add-on of a great non-slip PVC mat which means your messy play toys need never come into direct contact with your tray and you can just wipe it clean. If you were to have any little accidents, you can simply stick your Trabasack in a standard wash at thirty degrees in your machine! When not using your Trabasack simply hang it on the back of the buggy or wear it as a standard rucksack or messenger bag. You could even use it as a makeshift nappy bag if your child is young enough to need one, that’s what we do anyway!
Sensory play will go wherever you and your child’s imagination take you. The options are limitless and with a handy Trabasack, you can begin your sensory play as soon as you want, you don’t have to wait.