We bought a 4 lb carton of Epsom Salt at for around 4 dollars
and have been playing with it for days as sensory material.
We've played with regular salt as sensory material before as well, but Epsom Salt has it's own sensory qualities that are different from salt and we've been exploring with it a few different ways this week.
I have many readers ask
how to keep their children engaged in sensory play and other activities
The biggest thing I tell them, is to
NOT INTRODUCE ALL THE PLAY ELEMENTS AT ONE TIME
This is true for many of our activities, such as our summer of Colored Sand play.
If there are many ways to play with the sensory material or a particular activity, introduce those elements slowly, instead of all at once. This will more than likely keep your children interested in the activity for a longer period of time. This is certainly true in my experience.
We started out by simply pouring the epsom salt in a plastic container,
adding a few kitchen utensils for play.
When he tired of the above setup and utensils, he went to play with other things.
I then replaced those utensils with different ones. Later that day he was back to play again, a renewed interest with the new utensils.
Even pantsless super heroes love sensory play :)
I've always included my youngest son B (16 mo) in sensory activities since he was old enough to sit up and take interest in sensory material (around 9 months). I do believe that with constant parental supervision, that in most cases babies can safely enjoy most of the sensory activities that older children can. However, use your own parental discretion when choosing sensory material based on your child's behavior and developmental abilities.
**See note at the bottom of post**
Day 2 of our Epsom Salt Sensory Play,
we decided to add some color and scent!
This is done very simply by adding a few drops of food coloring and any essential oils or extracts that you choose, then simply stirring it to mix. If there are colorful chunks, break them up to spread the color evenly.
Then of course we made a whole new sensory tub!
Dirty kids...dirty shirt. What can I say? Some days we are too busy PLAYING to change from our sleep clothes (which are the clothes we wore the day before) Hey, we do change our underwear though!
(please tell me someone relates! haha)
of color and scented epsom salt using just the 1 box.
We made 3 different kinds, each infused with different scents with different intended beneficial effects during play
Mellow Out: using purple food coloring and lavender essential oil.
Lavender is known for it's calming and soothing effects.
Wake Up: using yellow food coloring and "Invigorating" essential oil.
"Invigorating" is the name of the essential oil. It smells of citrus, which is known to help wake up and feel more altert.
Get Well Soon: using green food coloring and eucalyptus essential oil.
Eucalyptus scent can clear the sinus' and help with congestion.
(you can also use extracts such as vanilla, strawberry, cinnamon, etc)
Epsom Salts contain magnesium which is commonly found in laxatives. Epsom salts themselves can actually be ingested in small amounts (diluted with water) to relieve constipation and in small doses it can also flush toxins out of your liver. However, ingested in large amounts, or too much exposure over a prolonged period of time (even taking too many epsom salt baths) can result in magnesium poisoning. Though I was watching the whole time, my youngest (16 mo) doesn't really put non-food items in his mouth so I was completely comfortable with using epsom salts as a sensory material for him. Given their ability to be ingested, even if he would have tasted a tiny bit, I wouldn't have worried. However, a large handful would have been cause for immediate concern so please use your own discretion when deciding what materials your child can safely use for sensory play based on their individual behavior, age, and developmental abilities.
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