This week I created a winter themed sensory bag for the babies I look after to explore. Neither of them seem too keen to get messy so this was perfect for them both. Sensory bags provide a fun sensory experience without any mess. They are also more easily tolerated by kids who hate sticky or messy sensations on their hands.
I try to provide my mindees with lots of different sensory experiences to help them become more comfortable with new sensations.
Sensory play is, quite simply, any activity that stimulates the senses. This includes the five main senses of touch, smell, sight, taste, and sound.
What are the benefits of sensory play?
At birth, a child’s senses are not fully developed. Instead, they develop over time as children engage with the world around them. This means that babies, toddlers, and preschoolers learn about the world by touching, tasting, smelling, seeing, hearing, and moving their bodies.
Because young children’s senses are still developing, each new sensory experience builds neural pathways that grow the architecture of the brain. The brain growth that occurs through sensory play enhances children’s senses, and their enhanced senses in turn make them better able to use those senses for learning. For example, as children engage with various textures, they learn which ones are rough vs. smooth, which ones are hard vs. soft, and which ones are wet vs. dry. This awareness is a first step in learning to classify and sort objects.