Benefits of Sensory Play
What is sensory play? Sensory play is anything that engages a child’s senses- touch, smell, sight, taste, listen. Sensory play encourages discovery and inquiry as well as imagination and creativity. When children engage in sensory play it benefits many areas of their development.
Sensory play enhances a child’s memory and their ability to complete more complex learning tasks.
Through sensory play children want to discuss what they are experiencing, how it feels, what it looks like, what it smells like. They communicate these feelings to others whilst they play.
Fine and Gross Motor Skills
Sensory play by touch during tactile experiences helps a child with their fine motor skills as they push, pull, squeeze, turn objects during the play experience.
Sensory play brings children together in small groups where they can play alongside other children independently or collaboratively. Either way the children are interacting with others as they experience the sensory experience.
Sensory play can be therapeutic for children with anxiety or restless children. The tactile experiences especially can calm a child as they play.
There are many sensory play experiences you can do at home as well. Some ideas are:
- Goop (yes this can be messy but maybe perfect for outside play)
- Squishy Bags- fill zip lock sandwich bags with paint and children can move the paint around with fingers, no mess!
- Rice bags- fill zip lock sandwich bag with coloured rice, again children play with the rice but no mess.
- Digging for Dinosaurs- tray with sand and buried dinosaurs or anything of your child’s interest. They dig through the sand to find objects
- Finger paint- messy yes but the tactile and creative experience for the child is amazing.
Lots of these sensory experiences are cheap and use items you would already have at home. The benefits of sensory play are endless.