No Mess Sensory Walk

No Mess Sensory Walk | Mama Papa Bubba

A while back I saw this amazing video clip of several brothers doing a ‘sensory walk’ in their backyard.  It was different than other sensory walks I’d seen built right into kids’ outdoor play spaces – this one was done with bins filled with things like shaving foam, coloured water, flour, and water beads {you can see the clip here.}  Such a neat idea if you want a temporary sensory-filled walkway, isn’t it?  I filed the idea away in the back of brain after watching, but today after I’d felt like both kiddos had had plenty of sun {we totally skipped spring here in the Okanagan and moved straight into summer}, we gathered up some household items to make our own indoor no mess sensory walk.  

No Mess Sensory Walk{this post contains affiliate links}

Here’s what we used…  First up, our go-to, use-for-everything Ikea trays.  We love these and use them for everything from art to sensory play to picnics.  Next up, a yoga mat as our base {to keep the trays from sliding around} and no-slip placemats {that are usually used to keep the trays from slipping around – essentially this stuff cut into rectangles}  to help hold the sensory materials in place.  For the sensory materials, we went with things of different textures that wouldn’t leave any mess behind – sponges, scrubber pads, a cool damp towel, bubblewrap, and later on a couple of LEGO bases. {Of course you can use whatever you have around the house.}

No Mess Sensory Walk

I often think that pulling together materials and prepping an activity is half the fun, so as long as it’s not an invitation I’m setting out for the kids to discover, I try to include them in the process.  

No Mess Sensory Walk

Kids always have the best ideas anyways. 

No Mess Sensory Walk

With our yoga mat out, our trays lined up and topped with the no-slip placemats, we began to cover the surface of each tray with one of our sensory materials.

No Mess Sensory Walk

It took no time at all and then the kids were off!

No Mess Sensory Walk

{matching kindness shirts by My Cheeky Baby

No Mess Sensory Walk

Now while I set this sensory walk up with Sam in mind, I had a feeling Grae would join in and I’m so glad she did.  I just love that she still loves simple play and as a mama to a girl who’s well beyond her years in many ways, I’ll hang onto that as long as I can.

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Part way through their play we found another tray, so it got added to the sensory walk with a couple of big LEGO plates on it.  

{Now side note on these “LEGO” baseplates…  While I’m not normally one to buy a knock off version of something, this set of baseplates was on a mega sale and my kiddos never seem to have enough bases for their creations, so I decided to give them a shot.  Well.  They work perfectly.  And quite honestly, had I not known they weren’t actually the LEGO brand, I probably would have never guessed.  Well worth it if you’re trying to build up your collection in my opinion.} 

No Mess Sensory Walk

Now once it was set up, I basically just sat back and watched the kids play.  They passed through again and again, walking slowly, walking quickly, walking and pausing on each tray, jumping from tray to tray….

No Mess Sensory Walk

And then Sam moved to experimenting with crawling and Miss G moved to dancing and spinning down the walk. All wonderful ways to explore different textures and the sense of touch.  

Now while I’m not a physiotherapist or an OT, Sam and I do a lot of physio work together and I feel like this activity not only encouraged jumping with control in order to get from the centre of one tray to the centre of another, but also just encouraged him to move and step with control and intention {as putting weight on the edges of the trays would make them tip upwards}.  Fun sensory-rich play that helps him work on some of his physio goals?  YES PLEASE.

No Mess Sensory Walk Activity | Mama Papa Bubba

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