I have to confess something here..... I have always considered sensory play with foam as a bit of a cliche....... until I was cleaning down the builder's tray on Wednesday and the children were a little restless and I suddenly decided to go for it. And it was well worth going for!!! It was great; the children loved it, in particular one little girl whose hands are in the pictures and who until a short while ago wouldn't touch anything wet and messy!!!
She first explored how the foam felt on her hands, then swirled it around on the tray, making ever larger and more expressive arm and hand movements. She then watched another child use a finger tip to draw in the foam so she tried that (see the top picture). The two children started walking then running around the tray with the fingers of one hand making a circular track in the foam around the edge. Some time later I added plastic balls to the tray and here is the little girl smoothing foam over the ball; it flipped out of her hands a few times and she adjusted her grip to keep hold of it, then the pushed it across the tray. She ran round to push it again and a game began between the two children; they pushed the balls to each other. This little girl is 21 months and she used trial and error to perfect her pushes to get the balls just across to the other child. After the game had ended she went back to swirling the foam, putting her nose almost on the tray to look very closely; she put some on her cheek and felt it, then on her cardigan and looked at the pattern it made. She was absorbed with the foam for nearly thirty minutes..... it was amazing to watch and guess what? Foam will be on the play menu again next week with some new twists to extend her learning!
Try marble pictures - good for a bit of primary colour mixing fun!
Another great one to try is mixing one part PVA glue to three parts shaving foam (I sprayed it into cups to measure it out). Mix the two together until the foam glistens, you could add food colour also. Spread the foam thickly onto card and allow it to dry - it will stay magically puffy after it has dried!
Have fun!! Jenni x