What and Why of Sensory Play!

What is sensory play you ask? Well, sensory play is young children playing and exploring using their seven senses.

Yes, you read that right…there are 7 senses: seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, tasting, movement, and balance. Young children learn best by experiencing the world with their senses. Children use their senses to gather information about their surroundings and know where their body is in space. They need to see, feel, hear, smell, move and sometimes even taste things to understand them fully.

Sensory play

Jordy loves playing and discovering!

 

Adults that provide sensory-rich environments for children encourage children to practice using all their senses. By offering a variety of materials that make children use their senses, for instance colored rice, beans, textured balls, and water you give them quality learning experiences and opportunities to explore materials that develop language, reasoning and problem-solving skills.

Sendory play

Jordy playing with her balls..

 

Sensory activities also help young children develop their small and gross motor skills. In addition, sensory play helps young children to focus and self-regulate. These hands-on experiences are just what their little bodies’ need! Encouraging this type of play supports sensory integration which is the ability for the body to integrate and process all of the information it receives. All of these skills and experiences build a strong foundation for lifelong learning success.

Sensory play

Jenning and Jordyn playing picnic!

Try one or all of these top 10 sensory activities:

1. Any cooking activities
2. Bubble Wrap stomping. Tape bubble wrap on the floor and have your child walk across, jump and stomp across the bubble wrap.
3. Finger painting
4. Scented play Dough
5. Drawing with smelly markers
6. Playing in shaving cream or for really little ones, cool whip
7. Playing with different kinds of balls
8. Exploring a variety of musical instruments and dancing with scarves or ribbons
9. Digging in the sand, dirt, or rice
10.Filling Water Tables with a variety of materials

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