“Play is the work of childhood”
– Jean Piaget
Children learn the best when their senses are activated, and they use them to explore and understand the world around them. Kids use their sense of touching, smelling, moving, hearing and seeing to delve into their surroundings. It is an important part of childhood development and many studies have been conducted to emphasize the importance of sensory play in brain development in kids. Learning through sensory visualization is a natural attribute of babies and kids since they lack other skills to build an understanding of the world around them.
Importance of Sensory Play in children –
- Little babies and kids really find such activities fun and interesting and thus it is easier to involve them in sensory play.
- These activities promote self-experimentation and visualization in kids.
- It increases concentration in kids and help them to focus only on the useful noises and smells while filtering out the rest. It is also useful in building coordination skills.
- It is extremely useful in the development of motor skills in kids.
- It helps in building stronger nerve connection in the brain and also supports language development.
SEVEN SENSORY ACTIVITIES TO ENGAGE YOUR KIDS THIS SUMMER –
COLOURED ICE BLOCKS –
Mix three different colors separately in water and make ice-cubes out of them. Take plain water in a number of glasses and let the child put the ice cubes in them. Try various combinations. For example, First, put different color ice-cubes separately in different glasses. Then, mix two different color ice-cubes in a single glass and let the kid observe the mixing of colors.
This is an excellent way to stimulate the visual senses. It also helps in the recognition of colors and language development when the kids try to articulate what they see.
SOAPY JAR –
Take a jar with the lid and fill it half with water. Add some liquid soap to the water and close the lid. Let the kid shake the jar and observe the bubbles that form. You can also add glitters for some extra sparkle! Encourage him to let the bubbles settle before shaking the jar again. This stimulates their eye-hand coordination. For making it more interesting, you can add some color to the water.
SAND PLAY –
Sand is an excellent object to stimulate your child’s sense of touch and feel. My daughter loves it immensely and we are doing sand-play on a regular basis. It becomes even more fun if you add some molds to create fun shapes in the sand.
It helps in the development of motor skills as the kid dig, built, pour and clean.
PLAY DOUGH –
Play dough has been a long time favorite of kids. My daughter loves to create her imaginative toys with all the sets of play dough that she has got. It also helps in the development of fine motor skills as your child learns to flatten or squish it using muscle strength. The kids use a lot of eye-hand coordination when they create objects with the play dough. Encouraging your children to explain what they made out of the play dough is also very useful in language development.
COLORED SPAGHETTI –
This one is the favorite of preschoolers who have just started to discover things around them. Boil a packet of spaghetti(noodles) and let it cool. Divide it into three or four different portions and add a different food coloring of your choice to each portion. Add a little vegetable oil for that slimy feel. Let the kid explore the bowl of spaghetti with his own hands. Let him mess around, putting it in different bowls of his choice.
WATER BEADS –
Water beads are very small in size when dry, but they swell up when left in water for some time. They are easily available online or in the local market. They are very gooey in texture and kids love to touch them because of this. The beads become quite squishy and fun to play with once they absorb water. Put the beads in a large container with a small empty jar in between. Ask the kids to catch the beads from the container and put them in the small jar.
Coloring and painting are two activities which attract children of all age. It enhances hand-eye coordination and stimulates the imagination. It also helps in creative development. It can help your kid to communicate his emotion. Holding the paintbrush or color-pens strengthens their grip. While coloring they can also learn shapes, sizes, colors, and patterns. It is also a great way to spend time together. Just roll out a big plain sheet of paper and give your child his favorite colors. They can either use a brush or paint with their bare hands.