Summer is here and we have been itching to get outside and PLAY!  Here in Southern California, it has yet to heat up enough where we can jump into the pool so we have been getting creative with our outdoor play.  We are so excited to share with you two of our favorite toys – Smart Splash Letter Link Crabs and Turtles!

Often times parents stray away from sensory play because well, its messy!

This is true, but in my opinion, the benefits far outweigh the cleanup.  Sensory play can be incorporated into just about any activity, they are intrinsically motivating and engaging for kids of all ages, and as for the mess, it’s a great opportunity to teach cleaning skills!.

As our children grow, they are constantly learning and creating new neural pathways. This is why sensory play is so important as it stimulates and engages the brain in so many ways.  Here a few of the ways we have been playing!

Turtle Shell Seek & Match

Our toddler daughter loves when I hide anything! So of course the first thing I did was hide these fun Smart Splash Shape Shell Turtles in a bin of water beads.  Their matching shells, I put in a tray of shaving cream.  The object of the game: dig for a turtle in the water bin, find the matching shell in the cream, give them a bath, put them together and dry them off. From visual matching, sensory motor, shape recognition to fine motor skills, there are so many vital developmental components embedded into this one fun game.

Scooping beads

Turtle Sensory Play with Beads

Turtles in foam sensory bin

Crab Letter Link

Our little one just started school recently and has started to show more interest in letter recognition.  Since I am fortunate enough to have the summer off, I have been working on fun ways to incorporate letter and color recognition into our daily playtime.  It hasn’t been quite hot enough to dive into the pool, so we have been tossing all of our Smart Splash Letter Link Crabs in and doing a scoop and spell!  For older kiddos, this is the perfect way to incorporate summer spelling practice – imagine how fun it would be to throw them into a full size pool and race with friends to swim and find letters to spell words out!  Not only do the kiddos get physical activity, they are working on visual motor, spelling/letter recognition, and team work.

Letter Link Crabs displayed

Letter Link Crabs fun

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