The importance of sensory play

The importance of sensory play! Written by Lucy, an Early Years Teacher from Little Seedling UK.

Play is SO important for children’s development through the early years. From day one in the world, a little one will gain key skills from watching a parent/guardian play, and as they grow more independent they will soon begin to engage in this play with you. 

Sensory/messy play can support so many areas of learning and is highly recommended for teaching and extending communication and language, and for personal, social and emotional skills including sharing, taking turns etc. Babies can begin to engage in messy/sensory play from as little as just a few days old with tummy time on a foil blanket, a flashing ball, bubbles, musical instruments and rhymes. These activities will teach cause and effect, physical development which will greatly support rolling, sitting, crawling and SO much more. 

Whilst a tray of rice krispies, shaving foam or flour may seem daunting to a parent/guardian, you’ll find, whilst engaging with your little one in this type of play, you will use SO much language. What noise do the Rice Krispies make? Are they crunchy in your little one’s toes? Is the flour soft? The shaving foam fluffy? All of this language in a baby’s home learning environment can open up so many opportunities for learning and help to build nerve connections in the brain’s pathways. 

Sensory play activates and engages little ones. When they start sitting independently without support you’ll see a much more independent play unfold (whilst they MUST always be supervised), which will continue to develop right past toddler stage and into their school years through ‘small world’ activities which extend social interactions even further. 

Whilst sensory play tends to focus on touch, sight and hearing, it is not only limited to things like messy play and music. Sensory play includes all types of play that support and stimulate all the 5 senses, and activities which support your little one’s language development; fine and gross motor skills; social interactions with both adults and other children; learning how to problem solve, and most importantly, how to use their senses to learn about the world around them and the experiences they come across each day. 

The greatest things your little ones will ever learn will be through play. 

Discover Lucy’s sensory play kits available to purchase!

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