Sensory Play: Beneficial for every child!!!
Sensory play is a crucial part of every childs early development, in both neurotypical children and those who suffer from ASD.
All children use sensory play to interact and learn about the world around them. It is a natural process for babies and children. Engaging their senses, touch, taste, hearing, smell and sight they become more aware of their surroundings and develop an understanding of their environment.
Often we look at the five senses and forget that the senses also include balance and body awareness. Balance is obvious, but for those who don’t know, body awareness is the messages and feedback we receive in our brains form movement, example moving your arm backwards and forwards or walking on tiptoes.
Encouraging sensory play is important for all children. It is not only fun and interesting but it also has a huge part to play in child development and helps build the nerve connections in he brain. It is also the major contributor in development of fine and gross motor skills.
Sensory play also helps encourage exploration and investigation of our world. It gives children the opportunity to learn sensory attributes such as hot and cold, sticky, soft, hard etc. it also helps develop and improve memory.
If all those reasons for engaging in sensory play were not enough it also encourages scientific thinking and problem solving, plus my personal favourite, sensory play is proven to help calm anxious and frustrated children.
As some who follow me may know, I spend every Wednesday at playgroup with my little girls Miss 1 and Miss 3. Every term is a new theme, last term was under the ocean and this term is, yes you guessed it sensory play!! It was a very timely reminder for me that all children need sensory play to help with their development, not just those with ASD.
Each week we will be selecting a different activity that engages sensory play for all out little ones to take part in. This wee was an old favourite, play doh, although we decided to mix it up a little an add in some rice to give it a completely different texture. The children loved it.
We also encouraged all of the kids to play in our fairy garden. Feeling all the different textures from smooth rocks to the cold damp soil. Little marbles (don’t worry close parent supervision was maintained at all times, so no photos unfortunately ) and ornaments, leaves and water. All for little fingers to touch and feel.
We also played with the children under our mini rainbow parachute. Holding it above their heads and moving it up and down to blow air onto them. Then we filled the top with balls and ribbons that they could touch from underneath.
Lastly today we had the sandpit, a great sensory activity. The children sat in it, made castles and some, including Miss 1 ate it and discovered it didn’t taste that great, learning through experience.
I’m not sure what next weeks sensory play will be but I am definitely looking forward to finding out. This terms theme has given me the inspiration to step up my sensory play at home with the kids and get back to blogging about it in my sensory sessions posts here on steemit so keep your eyes open for that.
You can also check out my past posts on sensory play, they are filled with heaps of ideas and easy to do at home sensory activities. If you have any ideas that I have not done already please feel free to share them in the comments.
As always, thanks for reading.