Somewhere around the first 6 months of our daughter's life, we discovered sensory play and immediately fell in love with it. Not only do we enjoy new sensory experiences and play settings but we are also keenly aware of the developmental benefits it offers to children, such as:
- Development of cognitive skills: Sensory play encourages children to explore and discover new textures, shapes, colours and sounds. This promotes the development of cognitive skills such as problem solving, critical thinking and creativity.
- Language development: During sensory play, children communicate and express themselves as they describe what they see, touch, taste, and smell. This helps in the development of language and vocabulary.
- Social skills: Sensory play is a great individual activity but it can also be a group activity, providing opportunity for children to interact with others, share materials and work collaboratively.
- Fine motor skills: Manipulating, handling different materials - this helps in the development of fine motor skills such as grasping, pinching, or squeezing.
- Emotions: Sensory play can be calming and therapeutic for children. They can release tension and anxiety while promoting relaxation and a sense of well-being.
- Exploration and curiosity: Sensory play encourages children to be curious and explore surroundings. It helps in the development of their sense of wonder and fosters a love of learning.