Human beings have five basic senses which are touch, sight, hearing, smell and taste. Babies are born with all five of these senses. Some of these senses are not fully developed from birth and take some time to develop. The most developed sense in a newborn is the sense of smell and many parents report their baby can smell their mother’s milk when she enters the room. The least developed sense is their vision as this takes up to three years to fully develop.
It is important to assist your baby with the development of these senses and the best way to do this is through what is referred to as sensory play.
What is Sensory Play?
Sensory play is any activity that stimulates your little one’s sense of touch, smell, taste, sight and hearing. This kind of play facilitates sensory development and naturally encourages them to develop while they play, create, explore and investigate.
What are the Benefits of Sensory Play?
While your baby may look like they are just having a play they are actually developing important processes such as nerve connections in their brain, motor skills, language development and problem solving. Introducing sensory play early can help to reduce sensory difficulties when your baby grows up.
Sensory Activities for Newborns
Activities that strengthen a newborn’s brain and motor development include tummy time. This can be quite a challenging activity for young babies but is amazing at helping them build co-ordination and strengthening their neck, shoulders, arms and core. The muscles of these areas are the ones that they use to roll over, crawl, pull up and sit up so it is no wonder that tummy time is so important for babies.
Other sensory activities for newborns are face to face time, cuddle time, singing & talking to them and massage.
Sensory Play for Babies
When your baby starts on solids the world of sensory play opens up for them. Feeding your wearning baby with different foods of differning textures and consistencies enables them to explore taste, touch, smell, and sight. Other awesome sensory play activities for babies include water play, finger painting, DIY discovery bottles, walks in the pram and sitting on the beach & feeling the sand.
Sensory Play for Toddlers
When your little one can stand and walk unassisted there are so many wonderful sensory play activities they can get involved in. They can get stuck into messy play, dancing, singing, crafting, helping mum with the cooking, sorting objects into colour groups, playing at a water table, even a bubble bath with a bunch of toys is an awesome sensory play activity.
Sensory play is all about learning and developing but your kids will only see it as fun and interesting.