With sensory play, there’s always much more going on than meets the eye.
Sensory activities, in addition to being fun and interesting for babies and young children, encourage children to explore and investigate. Furthermore, these activities support children to use the ‘scientific method’ of observing, forming a hypothesis, experimenting and making conclusions.
Sensory activities also allow children to refine their thresholds for different sensory information, helping their brain to create stronger connections to sensory information and learn which are useful and which can be filtered out.
For example, a child may find it difficult to play with other children when there is too much going on in their environment with conflicting noises or sights.
Through sensory play, the child can learn to block out the noise which is not important and focus on the play which is occurring with their peer.
Another example is a child who is particularly fussy with eating foods with a wet texture such as spaghetti.
The use of sensory play can assist the child with touching, smelling and playing with the texture in an environment with little expectation. As the child develops trust and understanding of this texture it helps build positive pathways in the brain to say it is safe to engage with this food.
Other reasons sensory play is beneficial for children include:
- 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 can involve mindful activities which are beneficial for all children
The desire to engage with sensory play comes naturally for children and should be encouraged and supported both at home and in early learning environments.
Sensory play is an important part of all early learning programs at Goodstart centres, and thanks to the Government’s new Child Care Subsidy (starting 2 July), high quality early learning may now be more affordable for your family.
Cart In mart offers variety of fidgets and sensory toys to help kids enjoy a great no screen time! Explore www.cartinmart.co.za for more details!