Why Sensory Play Is Important for Development
February 06, 2023
Why Sensory Play Is Important for Development
Sight, smell, touch, taste, and sound. You know these words as the five main senses every person experiences. As toddlers grow, it's crucial for them to explore the world through their senses and build their various developmental skills.
The key to helping your toddler with their sensory development is allowing them to engage in sensory play. Sensory play is any type of play that allows your child to engage with their five main senses, their body awareness, and their balance. Each sensory experience is used by your child's brain to build essential nerve connections.
Providing an abundance of sensory play will help your toddler learn to process sensory information. Early in life, your toddler may quickly become overwhelmed if they're hungry, cold, tired, or in a noisy environment. Sensory play creates the necessary neural pathways for your child to quickly process and respond to sensory information.
Sensory play is an essential component of your child's development. It impacts motor skills, cognitive development, and even language development. Here are the reasons why sensory play is so important for development.
Sensory Play and Brain Development
Sensory play is crucial to your toddler's brain development. As your child is exposed to new sensory experiences, their brain will begin to develop neural pathways that help them process and respond to the experiences.
The human brain is made up of trillions of neurons (brain cells) and synapses (nerve connections within the brain). Immediately after a child is born, synapses that will help them process information begin to form in their brain. During early childhood development, babies and toddlers continue to form millions of synapses each day.
Encouraging your child to engage in sensory activities for toddlers like sculpting with play dough, finger painting, or playing musical instruments will cause essential synapses to form that help your child process their senses. Toys such as Alphapals that incorporate diverse sizes, weights, textures, and colors will provide your child with an abundance of new sensory information.
Sensory Play and Motor Skills
Your child's motor skills are also primarily developed through sensory play. Body awareness (proprioception) and balance (equilibrioception) are both developed through sensory play activities like running and climbing.
Helping your child to develop good motor skills is essential to sensory development. Body awareness will help your child understand where their body is in space and reduce clumsiness, while balance will help your child avoid falls and enjoy athletic activity.
Examples of good sensory activities for toddlers to develop fine motor skills include playing with marbles, playing with Alphapals, and cutting paper snowflakes. Gross motor skills can be developed with sensory play activities like playing tug of war or tossing soft toys like Alphapals.
Sensory Play and Language Development
Sensory play serves a surprisingly significant role in helping your child to develop their language skills. As your child has new and vivid sensory experiences, they will feel an increasing need to describe the world accurately.
If you paint with your child, they may begin to describe the world in terms of hues like lime and maroon. Children who play with educational toys like Alphapals will show curiosity about the alphabet and various words. Encouraging your child to describe what they sense will help them to learn about tangy tasting lemonade or slippery bubbles.
Incorporating language learning into sensory play is essential for your child's sensory development. One of the best sensory activities for toddlers is playing with Alphapals. These exceptional toys offer various textures, colors, weights, shapes, and sizes that you can help your child learn to describe.
Sensory Play and Social-Emotional Development
You've probably noticed before that sensory experiences such as bath time or walks around the neighborhood help your child become calm. As it turns out, sensory play isn't just important for helping your child relax — it's also a key component in their social and emotional development.
Internal discomfort such as restlessness, boredom, and overstimulation can all cause misbehavior. Children are especially prone to having this internal discomfort because their sensory development is often extremely young. Exposing your child to a wide variety of sensory experiences will help them develop healthy processing and response habits.
With enough sensory play, you'll quickly find that your child seems to fare much better in a too-loud birthday party or a chaotic kindergarten class! Because your child is able to process the overwhelming sensory information much more quickly, they'll find it much easier to socially engage with other peers and to manage their emotions.
Rather than focusing on one type of sensory play for social-emotional development, it's important to expose your child to a wide variety of sensory activities for toddlers to develop a widespread tolerance. Expose your child to a variety of experiences that engage sight, touch, smell, sound, and taste. A fantastic way to improve your child's sensory development is to use multi-sensory toys like Alphapals.
Sensory Play and Cognitive Development
Sensory play is intricately connected with cognitive development. As cognitive skills develop, your child will learn to process information, store memories, solve problems, and finish tasks. Sensory play stimulates your child's cognitive skills by providing a plethora of information and possibilities.
For example, the colors and textures that your child perceives when holding an Alphapals toy will allow them to practice processing sensory information. They can solve problems and finish tasks by doing activities like arranging the toys by similar colors, shapes, or sizes. And as you engage in sensory play with your child, they will develop a deep well of good memories.
Much like encouraging social-emotional development, the key to encouraging your child's cognitive development and sensory development is providing a variety of sensory experiences to engage with. Sensory activities for toddlers that incorporate multiple senses, like playing with Alphapals, fingerpainting, and playing musical chairs, are an excellent option.
Sensory play offers children a multitude of incredible developmental benefits. Children who regularly engage in sensory play develop a heightened ability to emotionally self-regulate and to process overwhelming amounts of sensory information. Vocabulary, motor skills, and cognition are all boosted by regular sensory play.
The best way to ensure your child enjoys the benefits of sensory play is to incorporate it into your daily routine. You can create a weekly schedule to encourage variety or encourage your child to pick a few diverse types of sensory activities each day. Ensuring your child has a variety of toys will also boost sensory development.
Many additional resources are available online that can help you boost development. Many parents enjoy using tools like sensory balanced activity calendars or looking for ideas from sensory activity blog posts. Incorporating multi-sensory toys like Alphapals into your sensory activities for toddlers is a wonderful way to increase the benefits.
Treat your child to a multitude of developmental benefits today by purchasing Alphapals sensory development toys. There's no better way to make learning fun for your child.