Why is sensory play so good for babies?

Why is sensory play so good for babies?

Why is sensory play so good for babies?
You've heard the word battered around social media, baby and toddler groups, early years resources and all that jazz. But you still don't really know why it's important and the pressure feels like it's mounting to weave it into your child's playtime.
Don't worry! 
We're here to help quash some of that unhelpful noise, guide you through the idea behind it and give you the confidence that you are already likely doing it without even knowing!

Let's start with why it is seen as beneficial for babies and young children 

In a nutshell, sensory play is beneficial for babies because it helps them develop their senses and cognitive abilities. Here are some reasons why:


  1. Sensory play engages multiple senses, including touch, sight, sound, smell, and taste. By stimulating the senses, babies develop their sensory skills and learn about the world around them.
  2. Sensory play encourages babies to explore their environment and experiment with different textures, shapes, and materials. This helps them develop their curiosity and creativity.
  3. Many sensory play activities involve manipulating objects, such as squeezing, grasping, and pouring. These activities help develop fine motor skills, which are important for later activities like writing and drawing.
  4. Sensory play provides opportunities for babies to learn new vocabulary and concepts. For example, they may hear you use describing words for textures, smells and sensations they are experiencing.
  5. Sensory play can be a social activity that encourages interaction and communication between babies and caregivers. It can also promote sharing and turn-taking, which are important social skills.


Sounds pretty straight forward, am I missing something?

Nope. It is in fact pretty simple. It's being aware of the 5 senses and noticing how they are stimulated during playtime with your baby.
As mentioned before, you are probably already doing this. For example, you might have a touchy feely book that makes a few noises like scrunching. This is stimulating sight, sound and touch and most likely helping with vocab when you interact with it at the same time and describe what you see happening.
Your baby naturally will experience the world around them through their senses and you will also notice when that stimulation is too much for them and their current stage of development.


How to dial up sensory play

If you want to include specific activities in your everyday play then there are tons on great ideas on social media if you search the #sensoryplay just make sure that whatever you choose is age appropriate and under supervision, especially if your child likes to taste their play.
Choose an activity that focuses on one particular sense at a time, eg black and white books for sight, musical instruments or singing for sound, collect different textures for them to feel. 
This should help reduce the chance of overstimulation but also guide you towards activities your baby enjoys the most. 
If you're prone to over thinking then remember the KISS way
Keep It Simple Sunshine...The simpler the better! You don't need fancy
equipment, elaborate play set ups or expensive toys. You have what you need around the house and within yourself to gently stimulate all of your baby's senses during your normal every day play.
We're always here to help you add some no-pressure sensory play to your day!


You've got this!


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