Last week, the Cheyenne River Youth Project launched a brand-new weekly program for 4- to 12-year-olds called “Sensory Night.” Held at 5-6:30 p.m. on Thursdays at The Main, the program allows the younger children to engage their sense of touch and experiment with different shapes and textures while the older kids enjoy outside recreational time.

Long-term volunteer Sandy Morford leads each Sensory Night. She sets up water tables, bins with mixtures of unpopped popcorn and small toys, and containers with slime—and sets the children free to explore with their hands.

“It’s all about the process,” Morford says. “This is such a hands-on experience of textures and substances, and how they mix together. It’s proving to be a positive and enjoyable experience for the kids.”

CRYP Youth Programs Director Jerica Widow agrees.

“The kids are really enthusiastic about this, and they ask for it,” she says. “It’s so much fun for them, and we notice that it helps them with their focus and concentration.”

The next Sensory Night is scheduled for 5-6:30 p.m. this Thursday, Apr. 11 at The Main.

To stay up to date on the latest CRYP news and events, follow the youth project on Facebook (/LakotaYouth), Twitter (@LakotaYouth) and Instagram (@waniyetuwowapi).

The Cheyenne River Youth Project, founded in 1988, is a grassroots, not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing the youth of the Cheyenne River reservation with access to a vibrant and secure future through a wide variety of culturally sensitive and enduring programs, projects and facilities that ensure strong, self-sufficient families and communities.