Play Makes Sense Sensory Play Phonics Activity Cards on a shelf with jars. The jars are filled with sensory play resources such as chickpeas, stones, conkers and shells.

Sensory Play

Sensory Play

 

What is sensory play?

Sensory play is an activity that involves one or more of the senses. The activity might focus on one of the five main senses: sight, smell, touch, taste and hearing. Or it might focus on one of the lesser known senses such as vestibular (which helps us with movement and balance) or proprioception (which helps with the awareness of our body parts and how we move them).

Play Makes Sense Phonics Cards on a shelf next to a digraph poster

Benefits of sensory play

Sensory play has so many benefits. It is amazing because it:

  • Gives children the opportunity to discover, create and learn 
  • Helps to build nerve connections in the brain and enables children to embed new information
  • Exposes children to new vocabulary
  • Helps children develop problem solving skills
  • Improves fine and gross motor skills

 

 How does Play Make Sense teach phonics through sensory play?

Through simple, meaningful and engaging activities

Each of our activities involves one, or more, of the senses. The activities are simple to set up, but meaningful and engaging for children, meaning you can sit back and relax while your children play and learn.

A homemade shaker made from a water bottle filled with chickpeas. Next to it is a range of sensory maters and a tin can

Phase 1
Shakers

This activity explores the sense of sound. Children learn how to make different sounds loudly, quietly, slowly and quickly.

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Orange water with orange slices in a tray. Around the tray are paper cups with letters written on them and a ladle.

Phase 2
o is for orange

This activity explores the sense of smell. Children learn about the letter o, the sound it makes and how to read and write words containing that letter.

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A tray filled with jelly. Inside the jelly are a selection of letters.

Phase 3
j is for jelly

This activity explores the sense of touch. Children learn about the letter j, the sound it makes and how to read and write words containing that letter.

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Scavenger hunt activity. A check list lies next to a bag and a selection of items, such as a pinecone and a stone

Phase 4
Scavenger hunt

This activity explores the sense of sight. Children learn to read words with adjacent consonants as they hunt for objects to match the descriptions.

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Bubble wrap has been coloured in many different colours. Next to it is a bad with words containing the /igh/ sound.

Phase 5
Bubble pop

This activity explores the sense of proprioception. Children learn about alternative graphemes as they match the colour and pop the bubble wrap.

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A circular tray filled with moon sand. On top of the moon sand are tin foil balls, an astronaut figure and a toy rocket.

Phase 6
Out of this world

This activity explores the sense of touch. Children learn about the past and present tense as they explore this moon small world.

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