Fall offers such amazing and incredibly easy opportunities for sensory play for little ones! Because we had so much fun with the activity last year, I couldn't wait to pick up some gourds for Q-ball this season. In fact, I've been making several "field" trips to the grocery store throughout the week to let Q-ball explore their huge selection of pumpkins and squashes (really I've never seen so many, so I like to check it out too!) It's closer and cheaper than the Children's Museum. And, Daddy helped add a special addition to the basket by bringing back some pine cones from our recent vacation. Q-ball has even added her own pieces as she picks out some fallen leaves during our time outdoors to bring inside.
Here are the skills I've noticed Q-ball honing as she's been exploring her basket for the past two weeks:
- Touch: With such differences among the gourds it's easy to explore different textures!
- Sound: Q-ball is able to make the well-known crunchy leaves sound of fall when she is exploring the leaves. And, like any good toddler, she has enjoyed rhythmically banging her gourds around the house.
- Sorting/Counting: Q-ball has enjoyed counting the gourds and pine cones and carefully sorting them by placing them into a basket or placing them on a shelf. At 18 months, she hasn't mastered numbers yet, but she chants a "nah-nah-nah" for "1-2-3."
- Sight: Of course, fall is best known for it's variety of colors! While sorting by color is something we have not mastered yet, she has certainly seen the contrast between the gourds.
- Movement: Q-ball loves moving! Especially running and jumping! As with pretty much all of her materials, the gourds eventually made it into her wagon and joined her for circles around the house.
- Balance: In addition to moving her gourds around the house in her wagon, she was been working on carrying the basket, full of gourds. She really has to concentrate to ensure that nothing falls out of the basket. If she continues to be interested in practicing balance, I plan on introducing pouring and having her carry her plate to the table.