Importance Of Sensory Play
Sensory has become the new hot word in the parenting world, but why and what is it? You will see parenting blogs and toy companies tout the importance of Sensory play while showing you that latest toy in the space - but what is all of the hubbub about.
The focus on the five senses starts from the very beginning for many children. Learning all about sight, touch, taste, hearing and smelling help build a foundation for the world in which they live. In addition to the five senses, some argue that body awareness and balance are also a part of this foundation of a person’s senses. Whether you believe this or not - these elements are core in a child trusting their environment and being able to distinguish between things.
Sensory play is defined as any activity or toy that helps engage and stimulate a child's five core senses. Sensory play is used to help introduce new items and experiences to a child as well as help them get more comfortable in their environment. For example, spaghetti can be a challenging food due to the wet or slimy texture. Oftentimes, sensory play with similar items is used to help introduce similar textures. This should help create a positive association with the item rather than the original adverse reaction.
Toys (as well as normal household items) can be used to introduce a child to the different senses. Parents can also then learn about what stimulates them, what they prefer and how to introduce them to new items. Play can involve something as simple as different texture cloths all the way through something visually stimulating like a magnetic kinetic galaxy.
Sensory play can also promote memory, coordination, visual motor skills, creativity, fine motor skills and more. The key is to find different items that will teach your child about the world we live in and help them identify preferences as well as growth as they move into new senses.
In addition to items from your home, you can find an entire section of sensory items for kids of all ages. Here are some of our team’s favorites: