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Play set ups DO NOT need to be Pinterest worthy!

Updated: Apr 21

Good morning all sub-parent teachers!

Congratulations for making it through the last 2 weeks with such strength & enthusiasm, to do amazing home learning activities in such unprecedented times!

It has been so lovely to receive messages & pictures from parents & see some of your interactive sensory & messy play activities. I am delighted to read that so many are feeling more empowered to try sensory & messy play activities at home with everyday household objects & honoured I can help from a distance in even a small way. Please continue to feel empowered & inspired to STEP AWAY FROM THE WORKSHEET & JUST DO SENSORY or MESSY PLAY! But also, please do not feel pressured that all play activities you set up need to look pretty or be Pinterest worthy! Keeping play simple & just providing basics for each activity can really empower children to; use their own imagination & develop more play skills, as-well-as developing language skills through requesting for extra equipment they require, there-in creating flexible & multi-purpose play activities following your child's interests or lead.


In my experience the sensory or messy play trays I had to set up in a rush with no time for 'frufruing' created the most magical & interactive play experiences for all the children. Yes, the invitation to play set up needs to be inspiring, but often just providing one example is enough to inspire little learners to create their own version or they will simply create an alternative purpose for their play with what you provide. Maintaining safety for those children who need oral-motor proprioceptive input by mouthing objects to learn, over aesthetically pleasing is paramount, so just follow your instincts & create magical but simple sensory or messy play trays providing basic equipment, model some play to empower your children & then step back & watch the children develop more learning skills than you ever expected. Through sensory/messy play we can encourage; language development, maths skills, fine-motor skills, hand & core strength, hand-eye-coordination, sensory touch exposure, multi-sensory (8 senses) input, creative development, problem solving, mark making & imagination skills & much more through each play activity. Everything originally presented in an out of context worksheet can be experienced in a sensory or messy play experience, plus also making learning more engaging, interactive & creating magical memorable experiences which children will remember long after Covid-19 has passed by.

Please remember there is NO blueprint for any of this & what school has sent home is just to try to help but it is only guidance & not mandatory! Just do what you can to stay positive & look after your emotional & physical well-being. I hope you enjoy the week 3-4 example suggestions I've provided & have been able to make time to read through the basic sensory awareness & play overview training on my Website. Be kind to yourselves & just keep it simple, have fun & create magical memories!

Don't panic! KEEP CALM & DO SENSORY PLAY


Kind Regards Judith x www.empoweringlittleminds.co.uk/resources-1


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© 2020 by Empowering Little Minds - Early Years & SEN Education Consultancy
Judith Riddell - BA (hons), MA (cantab), PGCE - Cambridge University
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