When live gives you lemons, lockdown and little ones there’s only one thing to do. Break out the sensory play games. Full of vitamin C, with healing properties not only beneficial to stressed out tums but with an aroma that can also soothe and relax, lemons are the perfect sensory play accessory.
The whole point of sensory play is to explore the senses. Lemons are vibrant in colour, making them the perfect fruit to get kids talking. Talk about textures, colours and shapes. Ask them how it looks, have them compare and describe the difference between the peel and the inner segments.
“bumpy, smoothe, shiney”
Remember yellow is a primary colour, added to red it makes orange and added to blue it makes green.
Try taking some slices and dipping them in paint, to use as stamps. Press them out on to some plain paper and see what imprints you get. You can try this with oranges and limes too, that way you’ll have a selection of sizes.
Get them to squoosh and squeeze. What happens when you you press it?How does it feel?
Use the zest and maybe even add in some lemon balm or citrus essential oils to heighten the scent of the lemon, but the great thing is that lemons generally are zesty and highly fragrance. Can they describe how the lemon smells?
“Spikey, zingy, tickly, spicy”
Slice some of the lemon and put it in a beaker with a little bit of the lemon juice, topped up with water and have them taste it. See if they can eat the slice, without making a face or laughing!
Once you are done, don’t throw the lemon away. Try adding it to a bath or paddling pool to either layer up their other play activities or to help calm them down before bedtime. Lemon and lavender oil work wonders when added to pre-bedtime baths as they help to soothe and calm. Other great sensory play combinations are orange and mint.
The left overs also make perfect butterfly food. Make a simple butterfly feeder by just adding water to a jam jar lid and placing your left over lemon on top. Other butterfly faves include apple peel and banana.
The greatest factor about sensory play, (especially during times like this) is that it stimulates the mind, which in return is a great way to wear younger children out, without leaving the house. It’s also a great way to evoke conversation and explore the way a child sees and processes information.
What are your favourite sensory play activities? Let’s share and compare in the comments below.