Benefits of Sensory Play for Children.
Senses are our way of interacting with the world. So it’s important that you understand the benefits of sensory play for children. We experience through senses so it is very clear the importance they have in our day-to-day.
Do you remember the ways your grandmother’s cookies taste?
Do you remember how the grass smelled in your first house?
We learn and create memories by using multiple senses. For children, sensory play is very important because it has a role in their brain development. Let us explain this a little bit more.
The brain’s paths.
According to recent neurological studies, a newborn has approximately 100.000 neurons. This is number, which is already impressive, will multiply considerably during the first years of a child’s life.
The importance of sensory play comes from the role it has in brain development. When a child experiences their world using their senses, their brains are literally being wired and re-wired, over and over again. This is called Neuroplasticity.
Children learn by playing and being in direct contact with their world. Sensory activities such as touching or smelling something will active that neuroplasticity, which is the brain’s capacity to change its neural networks or paths. Have you ever wondered why your toddler is grabbing everything at sight to put it in their mouth? Well, that curiosity is what sparks their learning.
The plasticity of the brain is something that, unfortunately, we lose throughout life; that is why it is more difficult to learn something new after a certain age; that is why for a child is so easy to learn something like a new language. Because of that, sensory play is crucial during the first years of a young child’s development. Sensory play will help their brain to expand properly.
Other benefits of sensory play.
Besides stimulating neuroplasticity, the benefits of sensory playing are more than meets the eye. For example:
- Language development: play activities that involve the use of the senses are a great tool to develop language and extend a child’s vocabulary. Suddenly a rock is more than just rock; now is a hard and choppy thing with sharp edges. Now it is better to have something sweet for a snack.
- Learning more by engaging more: sensory play usually takes more than a single sense. A playdoh is something you see, touch, smell, and sometimes eat —we know that is not the idea but, you know, accidents happens—. Kids learn better and more efficiently when more than one of their senses is involved in the learning process.
- Motor development: activities that stimulate the senses like finger painting, sandpits, building blocks are using motor skills like pinching or grabbing, which are considered fine motor skills. Sensory play helps children gain body awareness by putting them in contact with their surroundings. Gross motor skills are at play when children are learning how the things around them feel.
- Problem solving skills: build something using playdoh or sand, painting something without stepping out of lines, these are activities that put the creativity and solving problem abilities of our children to work.
As Spimbey always says, there is no such thing as innocent playing. Sensory playing will have a huge impact on the development of young children.
Make sure to engage in this particular type of play.
Let’s make the world softer.
At Spimbey, we love a good play session. Sharing experiences and building a life full of fun and joy is what drives us.
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