The senses, being the explorers of the world, open the way to knowledge." - Maria Montessori
Sensory play has an important role in your child’s development from birth to early childhood. It offers children a unique opportunity to engage with the world in a way that helps them grow and develop.
Sensory play is a type of play that activates and stimulates a child’s senses, helping children develop language skills and motor skills. Often, sensory play focuses on stimulating touch, smell, sight, sound and taste. But it also covers movement, balance, and spatial awareness.
Sensory play is not just messy play for the sake of messy play. This is an opportunity like no other for a child to learn science, math, problem solving, critical thinking, fine motor, imaginary play, and communication skills (just to name a few). Through it your child builds cognitive skills and learns about their world.
Benefits of sensory play:
Helps with language skills
Helps with fine motor skills
Helps with gross motor skills
Helps with cognitive growth
Has a calming effect
Fosters social interaction
Children all ages can benefit from sensory play!
Babies learn and develop new connections in their brain through play. Sensory play also helps babies to learn more about the world around them and supports language development.Babies can enjoy simple sensory play such as touching different objects and surfaces and hearing how different materials create varied sounds.
Toddlers are usually developing their thinking abilities and will start trying to do things for themselves. They are learning about concepts, like time and opposites, so activities that compare light and dark, and sorting colours, will encourage toddlers in their exploration.
Preschoolers will often be exploring more independently and further developing language. Creating and building different shapes with various objects and materials, will further encourage these developments.
Let your child explore and get used to the potential unfamiliar textures. There is no need to direct the play. Take a step back and let your child freely explore and experiment. - suggests recreational therapist Leah Young, CTRS.
Sensory play has been a cornerstone of day cares, preschools, and rec-centers for decades. The goal is for a child to have the chance to explore, engage, and manipulate with real world items.
We are happy to announce that sensory bins have been added to The Play Lab's open play activities. You can now enjoy sensory play with your child as part of your open play visit. A few different bins have been composed to support all kinds of learning experience. Each bin includes activity directions that are suitable for different ages. Book your visit and come play with us!
Source: Healthline, Busy Toddler, Clevland Clinic
At The Play Lab, we believe that sensory activities are very important for little ones! You can join us for amazing classes with A Rosie Day - Science Sensory! (selected Thursdays).