So what is Sensory Play?
Sensory play includes any activity that stimulates your baby’s senses: touch, smell, taste, movement, balance, sight and hearing.
The desire to engage with sensory play comes naturally for children. Sensory activities facilitate exploration and naturally encourage children to use scientific processes while they play, create, investigate and explore.
The Benefits of Sensory Play
- It helps to build nerve connections in the brain
- It encourages the development of motor skills
- It supports language development
- It encourages ‘scientific thinking’ and problem solving
- It helps children learn to block out noise which is not important to focus on the task at hand
From the very first day they are born, children are designed to explore the world via their senses. That is why babies and toddlers touch and put everything in their mouths, love music and dancing and why a simple walk in the park can delight them.
From birth through to early childhood, children use their senses to explore and try to make sense of the world around them. They do this by touching, tasting, smelling, seeing, moving and hearing.
Providing opportunities for children to actively use their senses as they explore their world through ‘sensory play’ is crucial for brain development. It helps to build nerve connections in the brain’s pathways. This leads to a child’s ability to complete more complex learning tasks and supports cognitive growth, language development, gross motor skills, social interaction and problem-solving skills.
Sensory activities also allow children to refine their thresholds for different sensory information, helping their brain create stronger connections to sensory information and learn what is useful and what can be filtered out.
The thing I love most about sensory play is it doesn’t need to cost an arm and a leg to introduce into your baby’s play routine!