உணர்ச்சிகள் - ThinkTamil's Sensory Journey.

Children, they are like sponges. Soft, and absorbent of everything at a very tender age before they make their own moves and decisions, have vast moods and act varingly. At birth, a child’s taste and smell are the two strongest senses developed, because they rely on these two for their growth during their early years.

Further on, they start to absorb the sights, sounds and put names to it through speech - by the time they hit three years of age, they are able to independently use these senses to learn, to start building their foundation of knowledge.

We, as parents and educators, place a lot of importance into the content and learning that our children absorb. To add value to our teaching, we fondly introduce these lessons as sensory play - with a little mess comes a lot of fun.

Here at ThinkTamil Academy, fun is never compromised and sensory play is our best friend. There could never be a better way to teach Tamil than to engage all five senses completely through stimulating activities and games - so here is our list of the top five sensory activities we’ve conducted so far. These activities can also be done at home as it is completely safe and fun too !

1) Spices.

We brought our kitchens to our centres during spice sensory play - yes, our students had a great time touching and smelling different indian herbs and spices inside their own classrooms. We utilised curry leaves, peppercorns, fennel seeds, cumin seeds, tumeric, and dhal, learning their tamil names along the way as well ! This is a great way to expand your child’s vocabulary, associating each spicy smell with their names in both Tamil and English !

Spice Dictionary :

Curry Leaves - கறிவேப்பிலை

Peppercorns - மிளகு

Fennel seeds - சோம்பு

Cumin seeds - சீரகம்

Tumeric - மஞ்சள்

Dhal - பருப்பு

2) Fruits and Vegetables

Introducing fruits and vegetables is probably one of the first few learning steps in preschool and at home. It is also an amazing supplement to start your young ones on colour and preference - there is always bound to be one fruit or vegetable that children detest and this sensory play enables you to identify that. At ThinkTamil Academy, we even made fruit kebabs and vegetable soup to further stimulate the senses of touch, sight and taste.

Fruit and Vegetable Dictionary :

Apple - ஆப்பிள் பழம்

Orange - ஆரஞ்சு பழம்

Pear - பேரிக்காய்

Banana - வாழைப்பழம்

Grape - திராட்சைப்பழம்

Pineapple - அன்னாசிப் பழம்

Strawberry - செம்புற்றுப்பழம்

Blueberry - அவுரிநெல்லி

Lemon - எலுமிச்சம் பழம்

Carrot - சிவப்பு முள்ளங்கி

Potato - கிழங்கு

Beans - அவரை

Pumpkin - பரங்கிக்காய்

Peas - பட்டாணி

Corn - சோளம்

Turnip - முள்ளங்கி

Tomato - தக்காளி

3) Sink & Float

The concept of sinking and floating is a real easy one to cover. Using materials and objects that are present in daily life, children are able to wrap their heads around the reasons as to why certain objects sink and some other float. Heavy mass and density will cause sinking, whereas light mass and density causes floating - don’t be alarmed by these scientific terms, get a bowl of water, pick out a few objects and start painting a picture for your little ones !

Sink & Float Dictionary :

Sink - மூழ்கும்

Float - மிதக்கும்

Of course, there are endless lists of themes and sensory play that you can possibly try and do with preschool children. There is no one specific formula to conduct a sensory experience - as long as the children are able to identify what’s been given through that lesson, we consider that a major success, enough to celebrate !

Learning is lifelong, and ensuring that young minds learn is a lifelong commitment. Being wholesome doesn’t mean you can’t have a little extra fun too ! Share with us about your sensory play ideas at home that you conduct with your children and let us know how that has been of great benefit ; always a pleasure to hear from our fellow parents too !

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