The Benefits of Sensory Play and why it is Important for Early Years
From birth to early years children will be using all their senses to learn and discover the world around them. This forms an important part of their childhood development especially in the first 3 years when a baby's brain will grow at a rapid rate.
Development of the most common 5 senses Sight, Hearing, Touch, Smell and Taste are often overlooked in young children but they have key importance in their learning. Children as well as adults learn best when engaging their senses and retain the most information. We can all experience memory flashbacks when our nose and ears are stimulated with familiar sounds or smells.
Why Is Sensory Play Important for Brain development?
Providing children with Sensory play opportunities is a key feature in ensuring healthy brain development. It provides sensory stimulation which is essential for brains to develop and strengthen sensory related synapses and functions.
Synapses is a small gap found at the end of a neuron that allows a signal to pass from one neuron to another. They are a key to the brains function especially when it comes to memory.
Many of our senses develop mainly during a small window of time called the Critical Period in our early years which makes sensory play for babies and children so important.
So What is Sensory Play?
Sensory play put simply is when your baby or child plays with a toy or carries out an activity that will stimulate their sense. Whether this is focused on just one sense or several if the toy or activity can be explored by babies or children in their own way then it is sensory play.
Through sensory play children will have the opportunity to explore and will naturally start to use scientific processes to investigate, create and discover new sensations which in turn will lead to healthy brain development.
Written by Cheryl Lee-White (The Simple Mum)