As many of us know, play is a way that children learn. They are not just wasting time but actually absorbing some knowledge while they open up their imagination. Sensory play is one type of play that children learn so much from. Kids retain more knowledge when they engage their senses and explore. This type of play involves any activity that stimulates a child’s sense of sight, smell, touch, taste or hearing. Here are some benefits that come with sensory play for the different senses.
• Sight – Doing play that involves sight will help children understand and recognize certain objects. You will be able to tell your child what certain things are and they will be able to use word association to know what it is. This will also help them understand what colors are, know light and dark and work on their hand and eye coordination.
• Smell – Playing with different things that have different scents is great sensory play. If you cook in the kitchen you can have your child understand what the different ingredients are by smelling them. Also, playing outside in mother nature will open up their smelling sense to know what different flowers and plants smell like.
• Touch – This type of sensory play is very popular. You can use things such as a water table, rice table, play dough or anything that has a different texture. Kids will be able to touch these things and understand how water leaves you wet or how sand paper may feel gritty. The sense of touch helps kids get a better grasp on knowing what different objects may feel like.
• Taste – The sense of taste is something that children have done since they were born. Babies put everything in their mouth since this is a way they can register what they are playing with. As children get older they do this less and less but we should still allow them to have fun with the sense. Playing in the kitchen is a great way to do this. If you are cooking you can have your child try different ingredients. You can try things like tasting something sweet like an apple to something sour like a lemon.
• Hearing – The hearing sense is something you can have a lot of fun with. You can incorporate music and instruments in this sensory play to see if your child can recognize certain instruments by their sound. Also, they can learn about volume if something is really loud or playing really soft.
All of these senses are important for our children so that is why it is important that we participate in some sort of sensory play with them. It will improve their language skills, motor skills, and creativity. Try looking up some different types of activities that you can do to engage your child’s senses that you both will enjoy.