Invitation to Explore Spices
Lots of times while cooking occurs children want to smell or taste what is being made. With the holidays approaching, a great invitation to explore different spices through their five senses is mixing tiny amounts of spices with water. This invitation is set on the Excellerations® Outdoor Sensory Mixing Table along with cooking utensils, measuring cups, beakers, cylinders and recycled water bottles.
Exploring different spices is an opportunity to teach children about some of the spices from around the world, where they come from and where they are commonly used. It is also great sensory exposure for children who may be hesitant to try new foods.
Before inviting the child to mix the spices you can pass around the spices to smell, touch, and see. Next invite them to mix it all up.
When children are given the opportunity to learn through play it is one the best ways to make connections across and amongst many learning opportunities. They are not just playing, they are exploring science in action; helping lay down basic math, and giving them the tools to enhance their cognitive skills.
The social learnings from "water play" include collaboration, concentration, turn taking, problem solving, perseverance, self-regulation, and more. Children also gain physical learning through water play, such as precision in pouring, eye-hand coordination, and other skills. Exploring with water is captivating, engaging, engrossing and absorbing to almost all children.
When a child engages in sensory play the variety of materials and textures are stimulating the mind & body. It enhances fine motor skills, language development, improves focus and concentration. It is play based learning, stimulates the 5 main senses, & it's child-directed exploration.