Written by I-yatah Keisha, Early Childhood Educator and Owner of Kidtabulous
1. Make Texture Balloons
Tactile sensory play is all about touch! All children like to explore, discover and experiment with their surroundings and sensory play does just that. The great thing about texture balloons (also called sensory balloons) is that children of all ages can play with them and they can have fun without making a mess!
All you need are:
- Balloons (Note: if you use regular sized balloons, blow it up first and keep the air in for about a minute. Then deflate it and fill it up. You can also use larger balloons if you don't want to do this part).
- Items you can insert into the balloon include anything from sand, salt, marbles, play dough, rice, water, paint, water beads etc.
- A funnel
**For an even greater challenge, you can have your child make the balloons themselves by having the materials that you will use set out on a table in little bowls (see the picture as an example). You can also have our little one can try to guess what is in each balloon as they squeeze and play with it.
2. Balloon-Popping Calendar Countdown
Which little kid doesn’t love popping balloons? This is a fun way to pop a balloon each day as you do a calendar countdown! Bonus: you can add cute little surprises inside each balloon!
1) Decide how many balloons you will need and put them aside.
2) Decide what you want to add inside the balloons (small drawings made by your little Picasso, small toys, cute messages, fun things to do, etc.) and make as many as the number of balloons you will use.
3) Blow up as many balloons as you will need for your countdown (a countdown could be for anything special that is coming up).
4) Write numbers on your balloons with a Sharpie marker.
5) Tape your balloons to the wall in order
6) Start popping!
3. Balloon Badminton
Balloon badminton is a great way for kids to practice hand-eye coordination and balance as they hit the balloon and try to keep it off the ground. This is also a great game to get some energy out without breaking anything in the house! Bonus: They can also practice taking turns if they play with a sibling! Doube Bonus: it’s SUPER easy to do!
All you need is a balloon, some paper plates, masking tape and popsicle sticks. Just tape a popsicle stick to the back of each paper plate to make a handle, blow up your balloon, and you are good to go!
You can make 1 for each player, or 2 to make it more interesting. For more of a challenge, you can blow up two balloons and try to keep them both from touching the floor.
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