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Benefits of Sensory Development with SnuggleSense©

From the womb to early childhood, children use their five senses to explore and attempt to make sense of the world around them. We are here to highlight the benefits of Sensory Development with SnuggleSense©

It is a fundamental part of early childhood development, and adults therefore need to provide an environment that facilitates such exploration to facilitate brain development.

Children have a natural tendency to want to explore and experience their environment through sensory play and stimulation. These are also the skills they’ll come to rely on to build an understanding of objects, spaces, people and interactions, and need to be fully developed.

These benefits also last a life time. As adults, our senses provide us with vital information that we use to inform decision making thousands of times a day. We don’t even give such abilities a second though and might even take them for granted. Therefore, it’s so imperative that we need to help children to learn about their own senses and explore their world.

So, what is sensory play?

Sensory play is the process where the creative and intellectual part of the brain gets activated by having purposeful beneficial fun. When children pick things up and feel different textures, or hear different sounds and see different colours and shapes, it’s considered sensory play.

Sensory play includes any activity that stimulates a young child’s senses of touch, smell, taste, sight and hearing, as well as anything which engages movement and balance. At SnuggleSense, we also acknowledge the emotional component of the clid, and therefore focus on a holistic approach to sensory development for your little one.

Sensory play is only really limited by your own imagination, with of course some common sense being used around the materials and types of play appropriate for your child’s age and ability.

Some examples to get you started are:

  • Sensory play for Babies – Watching bubbles float and feeling them land on their skin, or scrunching coloured cellophane to hear the noise, feel the contours and see the shapes change.
  • Sensory play for Toddlers – Playing and observing the light and shadows that are created by torch light on objects of different shapes or sizes, or watching the colours mix and the patterns form by finger painting or sponge painting
  • Sensory play for Pre-school aged Children – Creating music with different instruments and noticing the different pitch or volume based on their action on the instrument, or playing with different shapes and playing with sand.

One of the best environments, which is also good for mental health, is playing outside in nature, full of colours, movement, textures, sounds and smells.

The benefits of sensory play

With sensory play, there’s always much more going on than meets the eye.

Sensory activities, encourages children to explore and investigate, and is a lot of fun and captures imagination like nothing else. Furthermore, these activities support children to use the ‘scientific method’ of observing, forming a hypothesis, experimenting and drawing conclusions.

Sensory activities also allow children to refine their thresholds for different sensory information, build strong connections between neurons and support neurotransmitter function. It also helps their brain to create stronger connections to sensory information and learn which are useful and which can be filtered out.

For example, a child may find it difficult to play with other children when there is too much noise in their environment or when there is overwhelming sensory input through colour or movement.

Through sensory play, your child can learn to block out the noise which is not important and focus on the play which is occurring in their immediate environment.

Another example is a child who is particularly fussy with eating foods with a wet texture such as foam or coloured rice.

The use of sensory play can assist the child with touching, smelling and playing with the texture in an environment with little expectation. As the child develops trust and understanding of this texture it helps build positive pathways in the brain to say it is safe to engage with this food. Exposure to different textures, sounds, smells and tastes builds trust for the child with their environment, facilitates exploration and healthy risk taking.

Other reasons sensory play is beneficial for children include:

  • It encourages ‘scientific thinking’ and problem solving
  • It helps to build nerve connections in the brain
  • It supports language development
  • It can involve mindful activities, which are beneficial for all children
  • It encourages the development of motor skills

Sensory play is also wonderful to facilitate a strong emotional bond between parents and babies as activities involve the limbic connection in the brain, which is where emotions are generated, regulated and mediated. SnuggleSense© is founded on the premie that sensory play is crucial for all development for little people and their parents in the family system.

Check out the SnuggleSense© Store for Sensory Tools and Programs like the Early Baby Development Toolboxes developed by Medical team of professionals. Also take a look at the sensory blankets, comfort bunnies and Teethers.

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more fun in the sensory sun!

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