Aoife Costello is a paediatric Occupational Therapist. Having previously written two other eBooks which have proven to be extremely popular and sold worldwide, Aoife decided to add to her collection of eBooks due to popular demand. Knowing the importance of sensory play, this would be a fantastic resource both for home and school in addition to promoting the importance of both indoor and outdoor play.
SENSORY TRAYS FOR ALL AGES
SENSORY PLAY TACTILE EXPLORATION ACTIVITIES
ABOUT THIS EBOOK
Feeling objects with different textures is often what people assume is sensory play or at least associate touch and touching items as sensory play however it is so much more than touch. Sensory play actually includes any activity that stimulates a child’s senses of sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch in addition to movement and balancing activities.
Sensory play is not only important for babies and toddlers but also for preschool aged children and school going aged children. When your child uses multiple senses to complete a task, they will learn more from the experience and will be more likely to retain more information.
There are many benefits to sensory play. They are not only fun and exciting activities but they also encourage children to explore their surroundings and environment. Furthermore, these activities promote investigation by encouraging children to use a ‘scientific’ method of observing, then forming a hypothesis, engaging in experimental play and making conclusions.
As an Occupational therapist, I work with children who have sensory integration difficulties and I have seen first-hand how important is it for children to be engaged in sensory play to create stronger connections to sensory information and learn what sensory information is important to use and what can be filtered out. An example of this would be a child who finds it difficult to interact and play with other children and to engage appropriately in their environment when noise or smell can be overwhelming or conflicting in their environment.
Through sensory play and by engaging a child in sensory play they can learn to block out over stimulating sensory input which is not important therefore they have more focus and attention on the play or task. An example would be a child who only eats food that have a dry texture like biscuits, crackers, bread etc. The child might be fussy or avoid wet textures like spaghetti.
One of the purposes of sensory play is that it can assist the child with smelling, touching and playing with a variety of textures in an environment. The more often a child touches different textures their trust develops and also their understanding of the texture therefore helping to build positive pathways in the brain to say it is safe to engage with this texture.
Sensory play is also beneficial as it helps to develop motor skills. It supports language development and helps to build nerve connections in the brain. It also encourages problem solving skills and ‘scientific thinking’. Children become more creative simply by playing. They also build their linguistic, cognitive, emotional, spatial and visual skills.