Children learn through the five common senses, which include seeing, smelling, hearing, touching and tasting. Their brains are not yet well structured to be able to process complex things. To them, every little activity is a learning process. Sensory play is one activity that can help your child learn more. It entails your child playing with different things around them.
Children keep learning new things in the world around them. You come home from work, only to find your little one(s) covered in mud, food or flour all over the floor. Before you have your blood pressure hiking, stop and remember that this is their way of learning. As a matter of fact, you should encourage them to play even more, buy them sensory play toys or better still, play with them. This article looks at the top five benefits of sensory play.
- Helps Calm the Child
Usually, some kids become very frustrated, stressed or agitated from different things happening around them. The most unfortunate thing is that they are sometimes not able to express themselves, and even if they try, their parents may never be able to understand what they are communicating. With their little and under developed brains, children often use their larger part of their brains when sensory playing. Trying to process different senses with different things when they are playing can be very involving for them. As a result, they get tired after some time. Therefore, this relieves their anxiety, agitation or stress. Sometimes they even end up sleeping due to the relaxation.
An example is a child playing with water just before a bath. If you realize a child is excited when playing with water during bath time, encourage them with different items such as toys. After some time, you will find that if the child was crying, they will stop and after you are done cleaning them, they will easily fall asleep.
- Enhances a Child’s Memory
A child’s brain grows bit-by-bit daily, as they continue learning different new things in their world. Research shows that children’s brains increase from 25% of their ultimate adult weight at birth, to 75% by the second year. Different parts of the brain develop at different rates. This explains why most of them can walk but cannot talk, can talk but cannot walk. When a child is playing, they do a particular thing repeatedly. If the child tapping, they do it repeatedly. This way, they register that sound in their brain. Whenever that sound is repeated, they will remember it from the tapping they heard before.
- Builds Nerve Connections
A human’s brain is packed full of neurons that are responsible for transmission of senses from different parts of the body to the brain for interpretation. For example, when a child sees an image through the eyes, the image is sent to the brain, which interprets it into a particular object. Neurons of a child’s brains are not fully stimulated to be able to handle complex things like solving puzzles. Through sensory play, which mostly involves repetition, the pathways between neurons are created. A child who does not play means their brains take longer to develop than those who have adequate playtime. Those who have enough play will learn things faster because their neurons are fully stimulated through play.
- A Learning Process
Through sensory play, a child plays with different items. It is here that they get to learn different sounds, textures and tastes. It is also during this period that children learn how to communicate. Interaction with other children also gives an opportunity to your toddler to learn new things that they would not have learnt on their own. For example, a child is likely to learn how to pronounce some words, more from their peers than they do from their mothers.
- Sensory Development
Since children are not able to communicate verbally during their earliest ages, they rely so heavily on the five common senses, smell, sound, sight, touch and taste. By experimenting with different objects during play, these senses become even clearer to the baby and the clearer they are, the more they are able to interpret them into different meanings in their world.
The above are some of the many benefits of sensory play to your child. With that in mind, instead of limiting your child’s play for fear of getting them messy, increase their playtime and encourage them to play even more. Go an extra mile by buying them toys and even engaging them in a game.