A QUICK REMINDER OF THE IMPORTANCE OF SENSORY PLAY:
HOW MANY SENSES?
1. Sight • 2. Smell • 3. Taste • 4. Hear • 5. Touch
6. Vestibular sense is the inner ear that helps with head position in relation to gravity
7. Proprioception in joints, which tells you where your body parts are in space
“It is important to engage and activate each o the sensory systems so that they can grow into one ‘integrated’ sensory system” says Occupational Therapist, Shelly Wolhuter. “Sensory integration is an unconscious process of the brain, to organise and give meaning to information received from our senses.” she continues.
The ability to recognise the information received by ones senses allows us to respond to a situation in a purposeful manner. It forms the underlying foundation of academic learning and social behaviour. Put simpler it helps us to focus on important information like the ‘teachers voice’ and suppress irrelevant information (like kids talking or airplane overhead).
- Research shows that sensory play builds nerve connections in the brain’s pathways, which lead to the child’s ability to complete more complex learning tasks
- Sensory play supports language development, cognitive growth, fine and gross motor skills, problem solving skills, and social interaction
- This type of play aids in developing and enhancing memory
- Sensory play is great for calming an anxious or frustrated child
- This helps children learn sensory attributes (hot, cold, sticky, dry)
ALL OUR KNOWLEDGE BEGINS WITH THE SENSESImmanual Kant
A QUICKFIRE LIST OF 10 SENSORY ACTIVITIES FOR BABY
Make Sensory Bags: These are great for babies still putting everything in their mouth, and they are mess free too! We have made so many types of sensory bags. The ones below are some of our favorites
Explore textures with varying balls like Plain Vanilla Mom. It is amazing how many ways baby will find to play with a simple basket of balls; Sorting, mouthing, filling and dumping, throwing and fetching…..
A tugging box will surely keep the little ones entertained. This easy to make toy from Laughing Kids Learn is on our must try list
Make a First Sensory Bin for baby. I love this idea from Plain Vanilla Mom. The large shells are perfect for babies to play and explore with safely
Another great sensory bin for babies is this Animal Hide and Seek Bin from Dirt and Boogers…. just be sure that you don’t include small pieces
Make a sensory sound basket for baby like this one shared by The Pleasantest Thing on Growing a Jeweled Rose
Make a sound guitar for baby. How cute is this idea from House of Burke? I love it!
Make Sensory Bottles like these from The Iowa Farmers Wife. You can make these using just about anything, and kids love them! Add a bit of learning to sensory bottle play and make rainbow sensory bottles. These are great for babies on to preschoolers and can be used to learn colors, shapes, early maths, and more!
Another great box idea for baby– sensory boxes from Meri Cherry
Shaving Cream in a Bag is lots of fun and keeps it out of little ones mouth and eyes. A bag full of shaving cream sounds too easy, but it feels SO COOL! Try it!