15 Benefits Of Sensory Play For Your Child’s Development

15 Benefits Of Sensory Play For Your Child’s Development

18 May 2022 | 7 min Read

Sayani Basu

Author | 497 Articles

Sensory play is the type of play that engages a child’s senses. It includes a sense of smell, touch, sight, taste, hearing and body awareness and balance. Since children become more creative by playing, sensory play can be highly beneficial for your child.

Sensory activities differ from other types of play as the emphasis on the senses is more in the activities. They help to build your child’s linguistic, cognitive, visual, spatial, social, and emotional skills​.​ Thus, sensory play has an important role in the child’s overall development. Read on to know more about the benefits of sensory play.

Benefits Of Sensory Play For Your Child’s Development

Here are some of the benefits of sensory play are:

  1. Sensory experiences support cognitive development: Sensory play helps to develop the nerve connections of the brain.

New experiences create connections that support cognitive development and improve a child’s ability to do more complex learning activities.

  1. Sensory activities allow children to develop their knowledge: Sensory activities create hands-on, self-directed, and self-centred play.

These activities encourage discovery and development. Such an approach appeals to children who have different learning and thinking styles.

  1. Sensory-rich play is inclusive: As there’s no right or wrong way to engage in sensory-rich play, it encourages inclusion. Sensory activities benefit children as these serve as the second language in a playful tone.

Children indulge in sensory play more as they enjoy a practical approach to learning.

  1. Sensory play uses the senses aids in developing and enhancing memory of the child: Scientists have identified the sense of smell as one of the strongest sense and memory links.

Hence, sensory play uses the senses and is beneficial as it develops and enhances the memory of the child.

  1. Sensory play encourages the development of fine and gross motor skills: Sensory play develops fine and gross motor skills in children. Motor skills are the predetermined actions that involve your child’s movement.

Thus, sensory play encourages babies and toddlers to move and participate in play using repetitive movements.

  1. Problem-solving, exploration and creativity are all benefits of sensory activities: Studies suggest that children love to pull, pour, stir, tap, rub, push, listen, transport, combine, make patterns and engage in role play.

The different stages of sensory play encourages children to solve problems, explore and become more creative.

  1. Children calm down when engaged in a sensory play: Children engaged in sensory play often become absorbed in their activities and tend to become calm.

Sensory play helps children regulate their internal discomfort, whether that discomfort was boredom, restlessness, or some other type of agitation.

It also helps distract upset children and promote mindfulness.

  1. Sensory play supports language development: Sensory play can help build vocabulary and support language development.

During the play session, you can describe how objects look and feel. For instance, use action words like ‘mix this’, ‘touch this’ and so on.

Each time the child holds a sensory tool and uses it in his/ her play, the little one is learning new words and their context to the play.

  1. Sensory play as a tool for connection:  A sensory activity can be a way to connect and bond with your little one.

It is calming and relaxing to spend time painting with your child. It can also be a time to gain insight into your child’s heart and connect with him/ her by spending quality time together.

  1. Lays a foundation in science: For children, chemical reactions look like magic!

You can encourage such a fascination while also helping build an understanding of the underlying and foundational science principles.

Sensory play engages your child’s scientific curiosity and aids development. Through play, your child will learn about physical properties, chemical reactions, experimentation, and how to make predictions and observe results which are all the core of the scientific method!

  1. Creates a sense of responsibility: All the parents want their kids to grow up to be confident, independent, and responsible.

Sensory play helps to develop a sense of responsibility in your child, making them feel more confident.

It also empowers children with self-help skills and reinforces healthy patterns of cleaning up after play in the future.

hen it comes to colour, sensory play provides the conditions for learning where children get to discover the differences of each colour. | Image Source: pexels

  1. Sensory activities assist children in learning differences and attributes: Sensory play assists children in learning differences and attributes.

For instance, when it comes to colour, sensory play provides the conditions for learning where children get to discover the differences of each colour.

Through sensory activities, children learn about the attributes of an object using their senses.

  1. Fosters Maths Skills: Sensory play develops and nurtures your child’s Mathematical skills, laying the foundation for a lifetime of important concepts of the subject.

Engaging hands-on activities offer opportunities to count and measure and this demonstrates the real-life application of Mathematics.

Your child can also identify and describe shapes, practice matching, and compare objects, which are all the early steps in recognizing patterns and learning numbers.

When kids engage in sensory activities with others, they learn to collaborate to solve problems together. | Image Source: pexels

  1. Encourages social development: Sensory play encourages social development, the way children connect with others and learn to get along.

When kids engage in sensory activities with others, they learn to collaborate to solve problems together and learn to share tools and space. This prepares them for the big picture.

  1. Role of sensory play for an autistic child: An autistic child seems to prefer playing alone, retreating into his/ her own world. A child with autism lacks facial expression and has poor eye contact.

They speak with an abnormal tone and use a sing-song voice or robot-like speech. Sensory play can benefit them in several ways.

Since sensory plays focus on stimulating the touch, sight, and hearing senses, these serve as therapies for an autistic child. These activities provide a sensory experience to stimulate other senses too and thus benefit the autistic child.

Sensory Play Ideas

There are some easy and great ways to involve your children in sensory play:

  1. Let your child plant small seeds in a pot or even the cups of an egg carton if you don’t have a garden. Playing with mud, sorting seeds, watering, and smelling the flowers or herbs will stimulate the little one’s senses.
  2. Bread baking is also a great way to help kids learn and grow. Kneading the dough, smelling the bread bake in the oven helps them stimulate their senses besides helping them with hand eye coordination.
  3. Sandbox can also be a great idea. Consider investing in a sandbox and some sand toys. Simple objects like shovels and cups can spark their imagination and get them playing, stimulating their senses.
  4. Even something as simple as allowing them to play with food helps their senses. Let your child mess, as the squishing, tasting, smearing all helps develop your child’s senses.

So, the next time you see your child playing with random items like paper towel rolls, pots, straws, and toys, or even messing with food, try to encourage them.

A child can use anything and everything to explore his/ her surroundings. Plus, by allowing them to follow their instincts, you help nurture their senses.

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