What are the Benefits of Sensory Play and How they can change your child’s life

Sensory play is a powerful tool that can help children grow both mentally and physically. It can also teach them new skills, which will benefit them for the rest of their lives. Sensory play is important because it can help children develop many different senses including sight, sound, and touch. This article discusses how you should incorporate sensory play into your child’s daily routine and what benefits it provides him or her with along the way!

What is Sensory Play?

Sensory play is a type of physical play that is focused on developing the senses. Sensory play includes any activity that stimulates a young child’s sense of touch, taste, smell, sight, and hearing in addition to anything which engages movement and balance. Kids benefit from sensory play because it stimulates their senses, strengthens muscles and coordination, and teaches them to understand the world.

What Does Sensory Play Look Like For Different Ages?

Sensory play looks different for all ages. Here are a few examples:

  • Sensory play for babies. It can be as simple as watching bubbles float or crumpling up colorful paper, but they are in constant discovery mode!
  • Sensory play for toddlers. It can be using a flashlight to create shadows on the walls, finger painting, or even playing with playdough.
  • Sensory play for pre-school-aged children. It can be using musical instruments to see how sound is made and travels, playing with magnets, or tinker toys.

The Benefits of Sensory Play

The benefits of sensory play are numerous. Along with developing the child’s mind, it can also help develop their body. So many skills can be acquired through sensory play that has both short-term and long-term effects on the child’s life. For instance, research has shown that sensory play is an excellent way to teach a child new skills. It also helps children to learn how to follow directions and work out problems.

There are so many benefits to sensory play, one could write a whole book about them!

  • Develops the child’s mind
  • Develops the child’s body
  • Helps the child learn new skills
  • Helps the child follow directions
  • Helps the child work out problems
  • and more.

What You Should Know About the Benefits of Sensory Play

Sensory play is important for all children, but it can be especially beneficial for children with developmental delays. Children with sensory processing challenges are stimulated by different textures and sensations and can often show progress when they are able to explore these aspects of their environment while focusing on their play. They may also be able to calm down and focus better.

For example, kids who like to chew on things often use this type of activity to stimulate the oral motor muscles while at the same time calming themselves down.

There is a lot of evidence suggesting that sensory play can help with speech, language, social interactions, and even gross motor skills. Some research suggests children who are very active may be able to control their behaviour more easily when they are being stimulated through the senses.

This type of stimulation can also help kids focus better on tasks that they normally find difficult or boring, and it can even aid them in accepting change as an inevitable part of their life.

These benefits make planning out some sensory playtime in your child’s schedule a must.

How to Incorporate Sensory Play Into Your Child’s Daily Routine

Sensory Play is very important for children. It helps them grow both mentally and physically. Every child should do sensory play everyday as it helps the children develop new skills, fine-tune motor skills, and increase their coordination.

It is important to understand that sensory play should be fun. Allowing your child to get creative may get messy but it provides many benefits for their development. 

Here are some examples of how to incorporate sensory play into your child’s daily routine:

  • Create routines that your child can achieve, i.e. wake up, have breakfast, get dressed. You may like to try using a visual schedule to help support your morning routine.
  • At night, talk about the events of the day ahead so that they know what to expect.
  • Give your child options where possible (like what to have for breakfast, what color toothbrush to use, or what cup to drink from).
  • Establish boundaries around the house that can be moved depending on your child’s skill level. 
  • Provide many opportunities to play with items that are not too stimulating, like blocks or board games. 
  • Explain everything that is happening so there are no surprises.
  • Be aware of your child’s interest and focus on achieving their current goal.

Sensory Play Examples

Providing time for your child to experiment with all their senses is imperative to their mental and physical growth.

You can start integrating sensory play into your everyday life by making sure you’re educating your child on all of the necessary skills.

It is super easy!

Sensory Play Examples To Get You Started

1. Use Everyday Items In Your House for Sensory Play

You can use some of the simplest things that you have around the house as sensory toys or items. Things like a toilet paper roll, a cooking pot, a wooden spoon, or even those leftover straws from your local takeout place.

Using these things you have laying around, you can make a ton of fun sensory play activities for your child.

Another idea is having your child try to fit noodles into the holes of a colander (strainer) which will challenge them to be problem solvers.

Sensory play is an essential skill for a young child to have, and when they break the spaghetti noodles into pieces, they are also developing important cognitive skills such as problem-solving.

2. Use Modeling Clay to help their creativity

Sensory Play can be explored through various arts and crafts projects. Older children will benefit from playing with playdough which they can mold into shapes and feel it’s texture.

Playdough is also a great tool for your child to use when they are trying to learn how to write letters and numbers. They can cut out letters or numbers from their playdough, then place them on a cookie which will give them the skills they need for future endeavors.

Give your child the opportunity to explore their senses by playing with often messy items, including playdough, paint, sand, and shaving cream.

3. Use Sensory Bottles

You can make your own sensory tools such as sensory bottles by recycling used water bottles. You just need bottles, some small beads, or small pebbles.

Just add the small beads or small pebbles into the bottles and seal them up. These can be used to make music or to observe how the contents inside move about inside the bottle.

4. Make a Sensory Observation

Younger children either preschool or primary age, challenge their curiosity by creating a science bin. This could include activities like kinetic sand, slime, magnets, or any other science-like items.

You could draw different shapes of things on paper and have them colour with items from around the house. Encourage the children to use different materials and textures.

Alternatively, purchasing a sensory kit is also a great option! 

 

Sensory Play Kits

You can purchase sensory kits already put together that your child will love like the “Going on a Bear Hunt” Sensory Play Kit by Mini Milestones.

Their Going on a Bear Hunt sensory kit offers hours of fun that goes along with the classic book Going on a Bear Hunt. With this kit from Mini Milestones, you get to experience an interactive story while using your senses and having a blast.

It includes all of the necessary pieces for a full sensory play session. These kits can also be purchased by using the creative kids voucher.

What is a Creative Voucher?

A Creative Voucher is an initiative that helps children learn new skills, find their passion and ultimately get more creative. The voucher provides families that qualify a $100 voucher or credit so that they can get started with a creative kids program without putting the financial stress on their parents.

How to Apply For a Creative Voucher

You can apply for your very own creative voucher by going to the website below and filling out the appropriate questions and submitting your information.

https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/transaction/apply-creative-kids-voucher

What can the Creative Voucher be used for?

Your Creative Voucher can be used with any registered creative kids program for registration for the program, participation and even tuition costs. Your voucher can be used for approved programs in creative arts, drama, dance, music lessons, coding or even digital design at any point during the calendar year it was issued to you.

In Conclusion

Sensory play is a crucial skill for children to learn and develop. It helps them with everything from focusing on tasks they find difficult or boring, controlling their behaviour when upset or frustrated and having a more positive attitude about themselves and the world around them. If you’re interested in learning more about the ‘Going on a Bear Hunt Sensory Kit’ – please contact us today at minimilestones@gmail.com