Sensory fun and messy play at its best!
A bucket filled with coloured spaghetti worms with hidden number rocks is a motivating learning experience for kids to explore numbers and their senses.
Sensory play helps children to develop and improve their gross and fine motor skills, co-ordination and concentration. It also provides an opportunity to use all their senses to discover and explore their environment, develop their imagination and creative thinking.
What will you need?
You will need cooked and cooled spaghetti, large tray, pebbles, small bucket or container, food colouring, liquid paper and a permanent marker pen.
To colour the spaghetti, place approximately 8 drops of each colour food dye into separate bowls. Evenly share out the cooled spaghetti into the bowls and gently stir until the colouring has evenly dispersed. Add more colouring for depth in colour, if desired.
To make the number rocks, we painted on liquid paper to create the base for writing the numbers. Once this was dry we added a second coat of liquid paper to the pebbles and then directly wrote the numbers on using a permanent marker.
- Lots of squeezing, squishing and manipulating fun exploring the textures of the wet, slimy spaghetti worms.
- Sensory play is a great opportunity for kids to explore language and use descriptive words. Words to describe what they are experiencing, their senses and what they are feeling; slippery, slimy, soft, squishy and sticky.
- Search for the hidden number rocks in the spaghetti worms. Start searching at the beginning with number 1 and hide the numbers you are not looking for back into the spaghetti worms. As your child finds each number, place them in order from 1 – 10 along the tray. Point at each number and count out loud.
- Talk about the number shapes and how each number looks, such as number 5 looks like it has a big tummy. Funny little things like this help children learn their numbers as they associate it with something familiar to them.
If the spaghetti becomes too dry and sticky, have some water handy to squirt onto the pasta to help keep it smooth and slippery to handle.
- Mathematics – number recognition and number sequence.
- Problem solving and overcoming challenges.
- Sensory play encourages children to manipulate and mould materials, building up their fine motor skills and coordination.
- Sensory play is unstructured, open-ended, not product-oriented; it is the purest sense of exploratory learning.
- Self-esteem: sensory play offers kids the opportunity for self-expression because there is no right answer and children feel safe to change or experiment with what they are doing.
- Language development – experimenting with language and descriptive words. Also counting out loud.
- Encourages imagination and creative play.