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Sensory Play Activities

Angelique from Heads Shoulders Knees is a mum of two boys and a teacher, and is passionate about learning and a big supporter of play in all its forms. Creating play experiences for her children means the world to her.

In this guest blog post she explains why her family loves play so much!

What is Learning through the Senses?

When a child is playing with small parts for example, they are using multiple senses to learn about the world. Watching how things move, how thing sound, if there is a smell are all excellent ways to engage the senses and learn new things.

Why is learning through senses important?

It strengthens everyday skill: Increasing fine and gross motor skills happens really easily through play, and sensory play in particular. When your child pours or scoops they are prepping their bodies and brains for pouring their own cereal and milk and scooping their own ice cream!

It builds imagination and language: Play experiences can give your child the chance to create games and stories in their mind. The child led talk that happens during play, whether it is small world or sensory play, is really valuable for developing language and imagination

Critical and creative thinking: When children play, they are making choices and analysing every decision they make. They are evaluating what comes of their play (particularly open ended play that is sensory). They make up games and ideas which strengthens their creativity.

Fine motor control: Playing with small parts or sensory materials can be a huge contributor to developing fine motor skills. The logic is easy. The more play that your child engages in, means the more their little hands get to practice skills associated with hand, finger and wrist strength. And we all know, practise solidifies many skills.

Connection with family: This is my favourite of all. Play in any form can be a great way to bud connection between siblings or even parents and children. So don’t be shy, get playing with your family and notice the joy and it brings and the nourishment is provides for your relationships.