Benefits of Sensory Play

Thursday, 27 September 2018

Sensory play stimulates the five main senses; sight, touch, smell and sound. In the early development process of a child, sensory play can involve noisy toys, interactive books, strange shapes, music, bubbles, painting and sand. By using different textures, substances and ingredients, a child can begin to become more aware of the world around them.

Benefits of Sensory Play

Humans engage with the world through the interpretation of information that passes through their senses. Every single second, decisions are made from this information, and it allows us to go through life avoiding danger and enhancing day to day living. Therefore, it's important to encourage children to learn about their own senses through interaction, as this allows them to learn more about the world and how different things impact them.

Benefits of Sensory Play
Sensory play stimulates taste, sight, touch, smell and sound

This article will explain the Benefits of Sensory Play, describing its importance, what it is used for and how it can benefit the child. It also demonstrates how sensory play can develop and become more complex as the child gets older and begins to question the world around them more and more.

What are the Main Benefits of Sensory Play?

Sensory play is ideal for helping a child to begin to question the world around them. By learning about their own place in the world, a young child can make decisions for themselves. The benefits of this type of play are wide in range and include some of the following things:

Encourage Learning and Problem Solving Abilities

Sensory play is proven to build nerve connections in the brain and develop neural pathways that trigger a child's inclination for and ability to complete more complex tasks. The Optical Effect Sensory Fun Bag stimulates the child by providing multi-sensory equipment that triggers touch, sight and sound. A fun bag can help a child to learn more about their immediate environment, while teaching them about their own senses.

Optical Effect Sensory Fun Bag
The Optical Effect Sensory Fun Bag is a great way to teach a child about their senses

Encourage Language Development, Memory Functioning, Motor Skills and Social Interaction

By taking part in interactive play, a child can learn key social skills that will benefit them in nursery and in school. Social interaction can improve their language development, and playing with toys that demand touch can help enhance their motor skills too. By being exposed to so many colours, sounds, smells and noises, a child can learn to process information and enhance their memory.

Develop Sensory Attributes and Question the World around Them

A child can begin to learn sensory attributes through sensory play, which can develop into the child questioning the world around them and their place in it. By understanding the difference between dry and wet, hot and cold, quiet and loud, a child can understand the dangers of the world and how conditions can personally affect them.

Beneficial for Children with Special Needs and Certain Illnesses

Sensory play is beneficial to children who suffer from illnesses such as deafness and blindness. Children with autism can suffer from a sensory overload, so sensory play can expose them to different triggers in a therapeutic, calming and safe manner. The PlayLearn Large Jellyfish Tank Water Feature is a calming and aesthetic feature for the home that can change colour, encourage visual tracking, concentration and touch, and have a calming effect on stressed children.

PlayLearn Jellyfish Tank Feature
The PlayLearn Large Jellyfish Tank Water Feature is ideal for kids with conditions such as autism

How Does Play Change as a Child Ages?

Babies

Babies are just beginning to learn about the world. For that reason, their play will revolve around shapes, noises and bubbles. A good example of the kind of toy that is useful for a baby is the Baby Sensory Rattle, a perfect sensory gift for a new born. Available in two colours, this amazing hand crafted and simple musical instrument can teach toddlers to repeat, to crawl and help to increase awareness of their surroundings.

Baby Sensory Rattle Sensory Toy
Baby Sensory Rattle can help to teach new born babies

Toddlers

As babies grow older and become toddlers, their senses become more complex and developed, and they start to question the world around them. Toys that allow them to observe light and shadows, mix colours and paint are highly beneficial at this stage. The Sensory Glow in the Dark Squidge Ball is great for toddlers as its squishy and glow in the dark design allow the toddler to begin to experiment with more complex ideas.

Sensory Glow Ball Ideal for Kids
A Sensory Ball can let a toddler experiment with light and touch

Pre and Early School

Once a child has reached nursery or early school age, interactivity is key. Music, sand and language all help to develop a child's skills as they begin to understand ideas that are more abstract. At Health and Care, we have a wide range of story books such as the Fabrics of FairyTale Sensory Toy Story Book, which engages children through sensory-rich artifacts that can ignite a child's imagination.

Fabrics Sensory Toy Story
The FairyTale Sensory Book ignites children's imagination through pictures and artifacts
 

Encourage Learning Early

Sensory play can develop a child's ability to learn. It can do it early, with young babies having the ability to learn not long after birth. With Christmas approaching, you can check out our Best Sensory Toys for Christmas or have a browse of our long list of Sensory Interaction products.

Do you have any questions about our sensory toys, or something to add? Share your thoughts below or find us on Facebook and Twitter!