Sensory activities are an important and fun part of every preschool classroom. Some activities are messier than others, but with Pluffle, there is no fear of sticky accidents. It is a material designed by Playfoam, an educational Insights company. Made of soft foam shreds with a hint of sparkle, and in a variety of bright, child-pleasing colors, Pluffle is a fantastic addition to the sensory repertoire.
Playing with Pluffle at the sensory table is a fun, tactile activity for kids of all ages. Preschoolers love it but need supervision as with all sensory table materials. Trays or bins contain the fluffy foam bits. However, it spreads easily but sweeps or wipes up just as easily.
Sensory Play Expands Classroom Skills
Sensory play builds nerve connections to the brain. Pluffle is a fantastic way to engage even the most reluctant preschooler. Some additional benefits of having Pluffle in the sensory bin include:
- The sensory experience can help preschoolers calm their bodies.
- Students can investigate math concepts by filling and emptying scoops filled with Pluffle.
- Language development grows as the preschoolers talk to each other and ask questions.
- Children practice social skills as they wait for their turn at the table.
- When children squeeze and press the Pluffle into shapes, their fine motor muscles get a workout.
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Getting creative with non-food sensory bin fillers can sometimes be difficult, but pouring this filler from its container straight into the bin eliminates that stress. The best part of Pluffle is the texture – soft and squishy, but not sticky. Like kinetic sand, students can mold it into shapes and then watch it flow back into blobs. It doesn’t dry out and stick to hands like dough, sand, or slime. If this product spills out of the bin, (or let’s be honest, gets thrown out of the bin “accidentally”), it is easy to sweep up at clean-up time.
Extending Pluffle Play
Adding scoops, cups, and funnels is just the beginning. Manipulatives from the classroom theme in the sensory bin also create opportunities for outstanding play. Seek and find letters hidden in the sensory table, fill cupcake liners and candles, or explore volume by filling and compressing the material into different containers.
However, not every center can have sensory table activities. Pluffle is versatile, though. Placed in cleaned, dry plastic water bottles (Voss plastic water bottles have a nice column shape), it creates beautiful sensory bottles. The students tip the bottles and watch the Pluffle flow to the other end. A spot of hot glue on the mouth of the bottle before screwing the lid on will keep any “accidental” spillage from happening. Small objects placed in the bottle create a seek and find opportunity. (These alphabet acorns are by Learning Resources.)
Whether the Pluffle is in a sensory bin, sensory bottle, or some other holder, students are bound to have loads of fun!
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