the ways in which we can engage with the world? Touch, sound, sight, smell and
taste, otherwise known as the five senses. This sensorial engagement is
extremely high among toddlers who constantly use their senses to receive,
absorb and understand the world. Not only children, but even adults learn
better when all their senses are engaged in the process of learning. Think
about it – most of our fond memories are supplemented with a sensory experience
– the taste of a dish your grandmother cooked, the smell of the room you once
lived in or the music which played on your 5th birthday. Sparks
familiarity, doesn’t it?
It’s therefore important to focus on building a world of learning which is sensorial and stimulating for even the youngest of learners. This is achieved through sensory play, which is nothing, but activities designed specially to engage and stimulate the senses. These activities encourage children to learn while they play, create, investigate and deduce. Since senses are the means for the brain to receive information, sensory play helps build patterns in and connections with the world that children inhabit.
some specific ways in which sensory play helps aid growth and development in children”
Sensory play is useful in building motor skills.
It helps promote cognitive growth.
Sensorial activities help create better brain and nerve connections.
It supports the development of problem-solving skills.
It can be employed to build greater levels of mindfulness among children.
It facilitates language literacy.
It helps sow the early seeds of scientific thinking.
play can be very simply encouraged at home. Here are some tips:
If you want to experiment with
sensory play for your infant, you can scrunch paper together and listen to the
sound. You can also help your child explore different textures and register the
reaction to each.
Observing light and shadow is an
example of sensory play.
You can mix colours and see new
colours take form. Encourage children to mix colours on their own, thus helping
build a very intuitive understanding of primary and secondary colours.
Playing with sand, clay, play-doh
are also helpful in building motor skills at an early stage and creative skills
at a later stage.
As kids grow up, make them
experiment with music. Listening to tunes and creating them has been proven to
have a beneficial effect for the brain. Practice of music gives fillip to
learning and builds greater focus too.
The above points
are by no means exhaustive. Each element of the house can be converted into an
opportunity for sensorial play. Why not take this up as a task and begin
exploring with your toddler?