Importance of Sensory Play/Sensory Learning for Nursery Children
Many of us have heard about sensory play butmay not know the benefits of this type of play. Right from the day babies are born they explore their surroundings through their senses. Young children use their senses to explore new substances and understand new things. This is the reason why you should allow your child to learn through different experiences, since sensory play can improve a child's overall development to a great extent.
What is Sensory Play?
Sensory play is the way of learning new experiences by using the senses of touching, smelling, sight, taste and hearing. It includes activity that stimulates a child's senses and encourages a child to explore and investigate new things around them. Sensory play helps cognitive development in children.
Importance of Sensory Play for Nursery Children
Most children, as well as adults learn best when they engage their senses. A child will understand the concept of hot and cold better if she is allowed to touch a piece of ice or a cup of coffee. This is the reason why children touch everything they see and put everything in their mouth.
Sensory play is not just about touching; instead sensory play involves engaging all the five senses. By allowing children to explore and investigate various materials through their senses, you will allow them to develop their social, cognitive, physical, emotional and linguistic skills.
Parents as well as nursery schools should encourage sensory play through various activities and help them develop various skillsets.
Benefits of Sensory Play
There are many benefits of sensory play which include:
- It stimulates nerve connections and aids thought, creativity and learning
- Supports language development and cognitive development
- Helps in problem solving and develops reasoning skills
- Helps in developing and enhancing memory
- Sensory play also helps on fine and gross motor skills
- Sensory play also has an amazing calming effect. Engaging anxious or frustrated children can help them calm down.
- Helps children learn about the different properties of variousmaterials like dry, sticky, hot, cold, etc.
List of Simple Activities that Encourage Sensory Play
Parents and nursery schools can help children engage in simple, yet interesting activities that aid sensory learning. Here are a few activities that help children learn through their senses:
- Dough making
- Playing with water hose and sprinklers during summer
- Blowing bubbles
- Mixing colours
- Playing with noodle worms
- Sifting alphabets from a sand tub, etc.
You don't need to do too much to encourage sensory play. By being a little creative, you can invent new activities that will encourage sensory play and keep your child engaged as well.
Many parents think sensory play is important for children with autism, SEN (Special Educational Needs) or other, but that is not true. This type of play is important for every child to develop skills that will help them lead their way in future.
So instead of focussing on verbal learning, encourage your child to involve their senses and learn about the new things around them.See them explore, learn and master new skills and grow up as confident individuals.