Most of the time, we talk about play and activities for children that focus on helping them learn, read and speak. All plays are important for the kids' physical and mental development. Sensory play, in comparison, is the most important that not only help kids develop and boost their senses but also improve their balance and coordination.
This blog is all about sensory play; what it is, why it is important, and how it helps the growth of children.
Let’s get into details.
Sensory play involves activities that trigger all five senses including, touch, smell, sight, hearing, and taste. The basic goal of sensory play is to involve, connect with, or welcome kids in everyday life.
According to research, stimuli is very important for kids ageing 0-5 years. From birth till five years of age, kids develop their major senses. After that time, the child's brain goes into a developmental freeze.
Infants and toddlers discover the world around them with their senses. For instance, babies touch and squeeze things around them. They also pick things and chew them. Well, that’s their way of learning about things, or perhaps, you can consider it a sensory play.
You can help your baby with learning and playing about various plays at different stages of their life.
We consider that learning begins in the preschool years, but children's physical growth actually begins from birth. The golden phase of the learning is the first 4 years. Child development is a positive growth in the psychomotor, cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional, and behaviour characteristics of a well-nourished infant. The only way a newborn can learn about the world is via sensory play as it is the finest hands-on activity for children to stimulate their senses.
Here are some amazing benefits of sensory play that help in the development and growth of children.
Children's visual and auditory senses are improved with sensory play. For instance, listening to varied noises or playing with musical toys develops a child’s hearing sense. Similarly, the sense of touch is developed by playing with textured objects like sand, water beads, or dough. It also aids in teaching kids to distinguish between various surfaces and textures.
Sensory play helps kids develop muscles and motor skills. Also, it strengthens the muscles that allow kids to run, walk, crawl, and balance, known as their gross motor skills. Handling tiny objects while playing is normal and can help kids improve their fine motor skills. When kids manipulate objects with their fingers and hands, they gain increased dexterity, strength, and hand-eye coordination. Youngsters use their arms, legs, and upper body muscles to move during sensory play.
Sensory play stimulates the brain's neural connections, which are crucial for learning, remembering things, and enhancing problem-solving skills. Children explore and learn new things through sensory play. They learn about cause and effect, shapes, and the characteristics of various materials when they use their senses to engage with various textures and colours. Using both their body and mind, children learn how to solve a problem, accomplish a task, or plan anything.
Sensory play inspires children to think out of the box and use their imaginations and creative side to discover the world around them. With open-ended opportunities to investigate objects and try out new skills, children may explore their ideas in sensory play. Sensory play might inspire children to utilise their senses to imagine tales and situations. Playing with dough, for instance, inspires youngsters to create a variety of real toys and objects.
Children can learn new words relevant to their sensory inputs through sensory play. Playing with water, for instance, may assist kids in learning words like "splash," "pour," and "float." As they describe their experiences or discuss issues concerning the activities of others, it encourages them to use and comprehend language in context. They learn to express themselves and interact with others via sensory play.
Recommended Sensory Play Activities for Toddlers & Juniors
- Tummy time play with sensory play mat
- Playing with open-ended toys
- Creating things in sandbox
- Playing with dough
- Taking swings, slides, etc.
- Playing with fidget spinner
- Riding a scooty
- Painting and drawing
In short, sensory play is an essential part of a child's development. It enables kids to explore freely and gain fun knowledge of the environment. Children may improve their senses, express themselves more creatively, and encourage the growth of their cognitive, motor, and communication abilities with the aid of sensory play. Children can develop the fine and gross motor skills needed for movement through sensory play. Also, it enables kids to explore and learn from their surroundings in a safe and secure manner. Overall, sensory play is a crucial part of child development because it encourages learning and growth in a way that is enjoyable and interesting.