Sensory Play isn't just for babies...

Updated: Aug 4

I talked in my last blog about how much Lexi and I enjoyed 'Baby Sensory' when she was tiny and how beneficial sensory play is for both parents and babies BUT sensory play, and my sensory crates, aren't just for babies...Lexi is nearly 2(?!) and we're finding new ways to play and learn using her existing toys all the time! I love how the crate and it's contents are growing with Lexi.

Lexi absolutely loves playing and exploring, particularly outside (if it's muddy or she can find a stick, even better ha)...this combined with a few sensory toys has been the key to her happily learning different sounds, words, textures and colours. When I set up my instagram account for Moore Crate Occasions I decided to follow a few play accounts for some inspiration... I quickly came across Abbie @shareyourplaywithme, Alice @raising_red_heads and their small business 'Play Makes Sense' and for me the name of the business struck far the best way of learning for Lexi and I is through play...but I wanted to make sure I was 'teaching' Lexi the 'right' way so she wouldn't be confused at a later stage e.g. being taught something differently at school. I decided to give their phase 1 phonics cards a at the moment our Sensory crate is stuffed to the brim with all sorts of things (some 'toys' and some household items) I can 'grab' to quickly set up an activity from the pack and we can 'go' and learn some phonics FUNdmentals. We love our Play Makes Sense cards so much I've already got phases 2 and 3 stashed away in the cupboard for when we need them!

If you'd like to get on top of your sensory stuff and get your hands on your own personalised sensory crate, they are available here in large and small. If you can't see the colour combination you're after or have an alternative design idea in mind please contact me to discuss it.

With National Play Day just around around corner (4th August), I thought this was an excellent opportunity to showcase Abbie and Alice and their fantastic small business 'Play Makes Sense'...I can't think of any one better than these two lovely ladies to help you and your children learn (and really enjoy yourselves while you're doing it!). Read on to find out all about them...

Hello, we are Abbie and Alice, former teachers, now mums and small business owners. We have never met, but we launched a business together, in the middle of the global pandemic, selling phonics activity cards. We are well aware of how crazy this sounds!

Play Makes Sense started when we met on Instagram. We were both passionate primary school teachers who stepped away from teaching when we had children. We love being stay at home mums, but we bonded over the way that our lives had changed, going from outstanding teachers leading the Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1, to being full time parents.

As our children have grown from babies to toddlers and beyond, we have had more time on our hands and the freedom to do something apart from parenting. We are both passionate about sensory play and have witnessed its amazing results, both at school and at home. We wanted to share the wonders of sensory play with others and were determined to use our experience and skills to make sensory play accessible for all. That is how Play Makes Sense was born!

We create and sell sensory play activity cards to empower parents to teach their children through sensory play. All of our activities are quick and simple for parents to set up and meaningful and engaging for children. Our first range is all about phonics and learning to read and write. We have a variety of packs which are suitable for children aged 3 - 7 years old.

Phonics is split into six phases. We have released packs for Phase 1-6! Each pack is bursting with simple, meaningful and engaging sensory play activities which help little learners become confident readers and writers.

Phase 1 Phonics Activity Cards - This is our original and best selling pack. It contains over 40 activities which explore the seven aspects of Phase 1. Phase 1 is all about listening to, and hearing, different sounds. The activities introduce children to a range of skills such as rhythm and rhyme, alliteration and oral blending and segmenting.

Phase 2 Phonics Activity Cards - The Phase 2 pack is where children are first introduced to letters and sounds. It contains over 40 activities which explore 20 letters and their corresponding sounds. There are also three bonus activities which support children in learning the tricky sounds taught in Phase 2.

Phase 3 Phonics Activity Cards - The Phase 3 pack is all about digraphs and trigraphs. Digraphs are two letters that work together to make one sound and trigraphs are three letters that work together to make one sound. This is a bumper pack and has over 50 activities to explore the Phase 3 sounds.

Phase 4 Phonics Activity Cards - The Phase 4 pack consolidates children’s prior learning and introduces them to consonant blend and polysyllabic words. It is also jam packed with activities for children to practise reading and writing sentences.

Phase 5 Phonics Activity Cards - The Phase 5 pack is another bumper pack, with over 50 sensory play activities. In Phase 5 children explore alternative graphemes, which are different ways to read and write the same sound. They are also introduced to split digraphs, where two letters, that are not next to each other, work together to make one sound.

Phase 6 Phonics Activity Cards - Phase 6 bridges the gap between phonics and spelling and grammar. In Phase 6 children explore the past and present tense, as well as prefixes and suffixes. They also develop a range of strategies to spell words, such as using syllables and mnemonics.

If you want your children to love learning to read and write then you need our phonics cards! Our phonics activity cards are full of hands-on learning activities that will ignite a passion for learning in any child. The cards are accessible for all, even those with no prior phonics knowledge. We have removed complicated terminology and ensured that the instructions are clear and easy to follow.

Our phonics activity packs are available to purchase from our website You can sign up to our mailing list to receive a code for 10% off your first order, plus weekly tips and tricks about all things phonics and sensory play! Our Instagram page @playmakessenseuk is the heart of our community. We post informative and educational content in order to give back to our amazingly supportive followers. You can also follow us on Facebook, TikTok and Pinterest.

We love chatting to our community so please head over to @playmakessenseuk and say hello!

See you there, Abbie and Alice x

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