Creating Sensory Play Outside!

In our last blog we spoke about the what and why of sensory play.  Sensory play is especially fun when it includes outside time. This is an important part of any child’s daily routine. Young children can’t wait for the part of the day to go outside and play! Outside time should be fun, relaxing, stress reducing, and a tension-relieving part of the day for both young children and adults.


Outside time supports the development of the whole child and sets the stage for active learning. As young children spend quality time outdoors they learn about their body space and practice important gross motor skills such as running, jumping, climbing, swinging, and skipping. Fine motor skills are achieved by writing or drawing outside with sidewalk chalk, painting with water, digging, and playing at the water table

Social and emotional skills can be improved also. These skills include cooperation, negotiation, taking turns, and being on a team. We can include science and language skills with the observation in changes in plants and differences in weather. By watching living things such as bugs, plants, birds they learn about the earth (nonliving things) by collecting sticks, rocks, playing with water, and digging in the dirt helps enrich their vocabulary through nature terms.


Brennen at the zoo… what does a frog feel like?

The outdoors has a lot to offer to support and enhance the development of young children and the time spent outside is an important part of our daily routines. Providing these outdoor experiences allows children an opportunity to create their own rules. This supports executive functioning and social – emotional awareness while building relationship skills, negotiation skills, and problem solving skills. These skills are essential to their lifelong learning success.

Top 10 Outdoor FUN Activities for Families:

  • Create a mud pie
  • Play flashlight tag at night
  • Draw and write outside with sidewalk chalk
  • Play outside with friends – hop scotch, jump roping, and hula hoop
  • Running barefoot in the grass
  • Playtime in the park
  • Have a picnic
  • Go on a nature walk
  • Visit the zoo (one of our favorites)
  • Enjoy a Popsicle

With all this fun, don’t forget to bring in American Sign Language (ASL)!  During this most important sensory play, ASL will help increase your child’s vocabulary too.  We have this very fun, FREE resource you can use at home or in your classroom, American Sign Language (ASL) Classroom Labels – Volume 3. It’s a bunch of ASL signs for weather and animals, and lots of other things!  90 in total where you can learn some fun signs when going to the park or the zoo!  

ASL Classroom Labels, Volume 3

Feel free to download it from our site, here… or from one of our teacher resource sites at Teachers Pay Teachers, Syllabuy or Teacher’s Notebook and have fun! 

Remember, we value play so much that all of our resources are developed around play and American Sign Language. They encourage language and literacy development through play and sensory play.

Happy Signing II