Sensory play is often something that gets overlooked with toddlers, but it shouldn’t be! Sensory play can help children learn and develop skills in areas like fine motor skills, social interaction, language development, self-esteem, and even gross motor skills. Studies have shown that children who engage in sensory play often show better attention spans and pay more attention to the task at hand because of their ability to interact with the sensory toys and keep themselves busy. Here are 8 reasons why sensory play is crucial for toddlers:
Babies feel by touching. While children develop more advanced senses, touch still plays a major role in how they perceive their world. For that reason, it’s important to make sure sensory playtime remains an integral part of your toddler’s everyday routine.
Letting them get their hands on different materials and textures can help them learn to understand what these objects are and what they do—and let them have some fun at the same time! Here are some examples of sensory toys that your little one will enjoy
In addition to its bright colours and fun design, your toddler will have a blast putting everything in his mouth! Unlike finger paints, sensory toys are non-toxic. But you may want to offer additional guidance while they’re tasting because toddlers can get carried away.
So if they’re enjoying it—let them! If their play becomes aggressive or if they start to eat or swallow pieces, be sure to intervene right away. You may also want to consider taking steps to prevent your toddler from putting these toys in their mouths; many parents opt to cover them with a plastic bag when not in use.
Sight is incredibly important to toddlers; it’s how they explore their world and learn about things around them. Toys with interesting textures are great sensory toys that encourage young children to investigate. Look for stuffed animals or dolls that are made from different types of materials, such as soft fabrics, prickly textiles, or glittery materials. Scent: Smell also plays a major role in helping toddlers understand what they can and cannot touch.
As your child becomes more familiar with his environment, he will be able to find items based on smell alone. For example, he may run toward an item if he smells chocolate.
The smell can be a powerful sense. When we smell something, it triggers a memory and emotion. This sense makes it easier to remember things. It also helps us identify things, including people and places. Studies have shown that odor memories are stored differently than other types of memories. For example, you may not remember your first day at school but you might recall what you wore or what your teacher looked like.
Children love to explore their world through their senses and sensory play allows them to do just that! You can use objects from around your home or purchase special items specifically for sensory play. There are many benefits of sensory play: children learn about texture, temperature, shape, size and color; they develop motor skills; they practice language development (describing objects); they learn about cause-and-effect relationships; they become more aware of how their bodies work; they use problem-solving skills when figuring out how objects fit together; and most importantly, they have fun!
If a toddler can’t hear well, he or she will struggle to understand language and learn how to talk. That’s why hearing tests are essential for all children; regardless of whether there’s been a history of ear infections or problems with speech. If your doctor determines that your child has a significant hearing loss, he or she may recommend special equipment that may improve speech and language skills.
In addition, your child may benefit from having an ASL interpreter at school and other settings as early as possible. Most importantly, help your child develop healthy sensory play habits—including talking about sights and sounds—as soon as possible. It can have a long-lasting impact on learning and school readiness skills.
6) Movement and gross motor skills development
While many people take their walking and running abilities for granted, they are important to a toddler’s development. From a psychological standpoint, walking gives toddlers a new sense of independence and control over their bodies. Gross motor skills like these will help your toddler become more agile physically—crucial as he or she grows older.
In addition to helping your child develop physically, the movement also aids mental development by increasing concentration levels and helping with learning (through puzzle-solving play). Your child will benefit from movement in all forms; try including him or her in games like tag and soccer. Letting him or her walk around on his own can be both fun and healthy for you both!
7) Self-esteem and self-confidence are boosted when exploring their senses!
One important aspect of emotional intelligence and building self-esteem in toddlers is exploration. Building self-confidence in young children and boosting their emotional intelligence at an early age through sensory play. It’s one of the parents’ favorite things to do with toddlers because it allows them to explore all five senses and discover so many new, exciting things about themselves and the world around them.
Self-esteem, at its core, comes from a feeling of competence; playing sensory games encourages children to feel competent because they are using skills such as manipulating objects (grasping), eye-hand coordination, problem-solving, following directions, etc.
8) And because it’s fun!!
Stimulating toddlers’ senses leads to a better understanding of their world. When they can pick up on texture, taste, sounds and sights, they are more engaged in everything that goes on around them. This not only helps them grow as individuals but also strengthens their communication skills by getting them to communicate what they’re learning about themselves.
Playing with their senses encourages healthy interactions and relationships between toddlers and caretaker(s), laying a strong foundation for their future development as adults.
Kids who use their senses actively are more likely to be successful in life. Not only that, but they’re also having a blast doing it! Playing with your child can never get old, and there’s no better way to connect than by taking part in some sensory play together. So pick up those crayons, grab your mitts, and get ready to have some fun as you tickle your child’s imagination in new ways today!