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Is there more to this sensory play?

On Wednesday, my teaching partner, Paula, was away. Due to a last-minute cancellation by the supply, I was alone in the classroom for most of the day.

Largely the morning seemed similar to how it usually does, but the afternoon seemed different. On a regular day, most children would be building with blocks and LEGO by the afternoon. A few students were on Wednesday, but there was also a lot of sensory play. From sticker use to plasticine to flower cutting, children were selecting and sticking with sensory options that they would usually not choose, particularly for such a long time.

While some children used these materials in the more project-oriented ways that you see above, others just spent time cutting flowers and ripping or cutting small pieces of plasticine. I was tempted to intervene, but then I wondered, are children seeking out this sensory play because of Paula's absence? Are these examples of Self-Reg? Around the second nutrition break, I found myself going to wash paint palettes, as I know that this sensory experience is calming for me. Reflecting now, I think that many of our kids might have felt the same. Self-Reg for the win!


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