Sensory play has many benefits to aid the development of your child. Be prepared to get messy (an apron and a wipe-able mat on the floor is always a good idea!). I also swear by the Tuff Trays, or some sort of area with a lip just to try and contain the mess a little bit more! You can engage in sensory play from as little or as old as you wish to do so with your little one.
How sensory play benefits child’s development
Sensory play can really help the development of your child, no matter how big or small they are. It will allow them to explore and engage in different textures, tastes, smells etc, allowing them to discover their senses, which they may have never experienced before.
Allowing them to use both their fine and gross motor skills, will help their growth of their little muscles, especially in their hands. This will go on to aiding them with the pincer grip.
Let them go for it and fly solo! Allowing them to explore independently will not only boost their confidence, it will also allow them to become more independent which will only help them as they grow up. Sensory play can also help your little one with problem solving as they explore using trial and error.
Lots of research shows that sensory play can help build up nerve connections in your child’s brain pathway, which will then help them gain the ability to complete more complex tasks. A great combo with improving their self-confidence! It can enhance their memory by using all their senses when they explore, which they’ll be able to relate to whilst they’re growing up.
By talking to them whilst they’re exploring, will help them with their talking and mouth muscles. Using key words which relate to the sensory play such as “hot”, “cold”, “sticky”, for example, will stay in their memory for longer if they’re also kinesthetically engaging with it whilst you’re talking about it.
Top activities for sensory play
When setting these up, don’t forget to add in a few utensils, tools, cups, bowls and scoops for example for them to experiment with!
Activities to do with children
- Ice play
- Water play
- Spaghetti play
- Dried colourful rice and chickpeas
- Bubble tray
- Moon sand
- Cloud dough
- Themed Tuff Tray set up (farm yard, ocean, zoo etc)
- Musical instruments
- Glow stick bath
- Water beads
- Sensory bottles
- Tin foil play
Be sure to check out our parenting section for more play ideas that you can do with your children.
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