I call my daughter the next generation kid for one simple reason—there is too much to explore at a very young age. When she was a baby, she used to touch everything that came her way, only to make different faces. She was continuously exploring the world around her with her senses, which is essential for brain development. You have probably heard a lot about sensory play from other moms or from other social media postings, but have you ever wondered what it is?
What is Sensory Play?
The term "sensory" refers to our five senses: smell, touch, taste, sight, and hearing. Picking things and exploring is not just sensory play; it involves activities that stimulate the child’s five senses, including engaging them in the act of movement and balancing. A child is born with a brain filled with neurons, and learning through their many senses aids in the development of their thinking, language, and social abilities. That is why it is vital and essential for your child. Though sensory play should be introduced as early as possible, don't worry if you are the mother of a preschooler, you will still find this article helpful.
Sensory play is similar to free play where you encourage your child to explore objects, but the only difference is that this time you ask them to use their senses. It is felt through their skin (including their mouth) and reaches directly to the child’s nervous system.
Some children are extremely delicate and may not tolerate much skin contact, but others (such as my daughter) will be excessively messy and covered from head to toe in virtually anything you offer them. Remember that each child is different, and what works for one child may not work for the other.
Benefits of Sensory Play
Sensory play will allow children to experiment with diverse tastes and textures, as well as improve their motor skills and cerebral development. Other reasons why it is advantageous to the child include:
These activities are not only entertaining and intriguing, but they also allow your child to put on their thinking cap while exploring and researching the world around them.
It helps the brain create a better relationship with sensory information and learn what is beneficial and what is not beneficial.
It encourages logical thinking and problem solving, particularly in preschoolers.
It can even help soothe an anxious and fussy kid who has had a long and tiring day.
If you're curious about the activities, download our sensory play guide and start your sensory play journey.