Looking at Sensory Play Benefits and how they can help your child develop

So, what are the sensory play benefits that can aid your childs development? Sensory play includes any activity that stimulates your young child’s senses: touch, smell, taste, movement, balance, sight and hearing. However there are 2 more sensory stimulations that we commonly overlook. These are body awareness and balance. At Scallywags Nursery we encourage sensory play as it can shape what children believe to be positive and safe in their own minds.

Sensory activities facilitate exploration and naturally encourage children to use scientific processes while they play, create, investigate and explore. For example, initially a child may find it difficult to play appropriately with a peer when there are other things going on in the environment with conflicting noise. However, through sensory play exploring sounds and tasks a child learns to adapt to being able to block out the noise which is not important and focus on the play which is occurring with their peer.

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Another example is a child who is particularly fussy with eating foods with a wet texture such as spaghetti, the use of sensory play can assist the child in touching, smelling and playing with the texture in an environment with little expectation.

As the child develops trust and understanding of this texture it helps build positive pathways in the brain to say it is safe to engage with this food. Sensory play literally helps shape what children to believe to be positive and safe in the brain. Ultimately, shaping the choices children make and impacting behaviour.

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As well as in nursery, it is important for children to have a range of sensory play activities available to them at home. You can organise physical indoor and outdoor areas for your child, so they have flexible spaces that include quiet, active, wet and dry areas that help to calm or alert them in their play. Also, you can ensure your child has access to materials they can shape and adapt, like play dough, as well as using lighting and soft furnishings such as cushions and blankets to create separate spaces.