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As your children grow up, you would have noticed that they pass many developmental milestones all on their own. It almost seems magical. It indeed seems like a gift of witnessing as you watch them transition from babbling to speaking words and from crawling to tentatively taking their first steps. Many of you wonder how you can expose your toddlers to the world around them and ensure their holistic learning development. Sensory play is an excellent way to do just that, and we have curated a list of the simplest and most fun sensory activities for your child. Through this, your child will be a more confident explorer and have fun while doing so.
What are sensory activities?
Let us first discuss what constitutes sensory activities. We are, no doubt, aware of the five basic senses of sight, smell, sound, taste, and touch. Of course, there are many more. Some examples include the vestibular system that ensures your sense of balance and proprioception that enables you to close your eyes and touch your nose. Through our lifetime of experiences, we have become fairly adept at using our senses to inform us about our environment. For babies, however, the world is novel, and it is up to us to expose them and strengthen their senses. Thus, sensory activities are any activities that make use our senses in a purposeful manner.
Why is sensory play important?
Sensory play is especially important in the first three years of a child’s life as they grow rapidly and are able to take in a lot of information. Sensory play can in turn help them with their motor skills, language development and cognitive growth. Sensory play can be conducted in a group setting further honing interpersonal development. Now let us look at some sensory activities to stimulate your child.
Sensory bins are one of the most common sensory activities. You can use whatever is lying around your home such as soft scarves, toothbrushes, tennis balls, buttons etc. and arrange them on a tray. Let your child feel it and make sure to describe the colors and shapes as well.
Playing with food
This may seem like a mess waiting to happen but playing with food has been shown to help children with eating a variety of food later on in life. Make sure to give them foods of different colors and temperatures. It is important for them to differentiate play time and mealtimes.
Sound bags can easily be made using left over toilet paper rolls. Before you start, duct tape one side of the roll so nothing can fall out. Next you can use a variety of items such as dry beans, rice grains or even small pebbles to fill it up with. Secure the other side and voila! Your child has their very own musical instrument.
Hammock and swings
This activity helps children develop their sense of balance. For older children, you can ask them to swing superman style or even standing up. Close supervision, however, is vital.