Good morning, good evening and good afternoon!
It’s Nanny Georgia here and today I’ll be talking about the benefits of sensory play for our children!
Most of us are born with 5 sensory elements, sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste! Just like any skill, we aren’t born having full control over these abilities, rather as we go through life we learn to adapt our senses as we experience new things.
There are 5 key benefits of sensory play for children, so lets get in to it!
The first benefit of sensory play is that it builds the nerve connections within the developing brains neural pathways. Creating a neural pathway can take up to as little as 18 days and as long as 200! Did you know that it takes 66 days as the average amount of time to form an understanding or habit! A child’s new found ability through sensory play can increase their inclination for and ability in completing more complex learning tasks and life skills.
Benefit number two is that sensory play helps support the development of a child’s language, by allowing children to discuss their sensory experience, this extends their language development and vocabulary. Sensory play helps with cognitive growth, enhancing their thought process, manipulating new materials and understanding new concepts, such as wet and dry. Social interaction is another benefit that sensory play supports, a positive environment with sensory experiences encourages children to interact and work effectively with others, they will share ideas and develop new relationships.
Another crucial benefit of sensory play is that it enhances memory! Memories occur when certain groups of neurons are reactivated. Encoding is a biological even which begins in recognising the senses which allows the perceived item of interest to be made into a construct which can be stored in the brain and recalled later from either long-term or short-term memory! How cool is that, by allowing our children to engage in sensory activities we hand them the opportunity to enhance their memory function!
When overwhelmed with emotions, even as adults we can sometimes feel like the world is against us. Lucky for our children, us adults can incorporate sensory play into their environment in hopes to calm them back down. Allowing a child to engage in a sensory activity while they are experiencing an emotional out-burst, letting a child use their senses to bring themselves back down is an import way of learning to understand and regulate their emotions. This applies to benefit number 4, sensory play is a good way to settle children.
Our fifth and final benefit of sensory play, is that it allows children to learn vitally important sensory attributes like; sticky, wet, cold dry and hot, loud and soft. Allowing children to explore and discover these attributes through sensory play also then helps build the neural path ways, bringing more of an understanding of the world around them.
Yes, sensory play can be messy and time hungry, but children learn through their senses every day, not just when given the opportunity to play a sensory activity or game. Next time you’re out with your babies, ask them questions about the world around them.
“can you hear that?/what’s that sound?”
“what do they feel like?”
“is it hot or cold?”
You’d be surprised just how intrigued they are!
That’s all for today!
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Bye for now!
Coming up soon:
- Tots and Tech
- How to keep the party going