Sensory play is any kind of activity that stimulates the little one's senses: touch, smell, taste, sight & hearing. These activities can facilitate exploration and encourage the kids to use processes while they play / explore / create. It will help them develop cognitively, linguistically, socially and emotionally.
So I tried something very easily put together recently (@ 15 months).
I originally read about colored sand on parenting sites, but too lazy to color the rice (oppps) and let them dry. Furthermore, I am sure the little princess is going to throw the rice around, which will make cleaning up really difficult. So I decided to replace the rice with something more manageable.
I bought this set of toys from Ikea at $3.90. Seems like quite fun to bring her to play with sand as well! I then filled the box with Holland barley, so it's easier to clean up.
Psss, see the kitchen paper towel rolls at the back haha! I was supposed to tape them to the wall and play some pom pom balls. But, err lazy mum :p
I first showed her how to "play" with this by scooping the barley and placing into the little container. Then I passed the toys to her for free play. It's amazing that she knew how to play as soon as she got her hands on them haha!
Her "aiming" with scooping and emptying the barley got better with each try. However, we need to watch her closely while she played because she did try to swallow the barley repeatedly lol!
I probably want to try the kitchen paper towel rolls thing or edible play dough next!