The Importance of Sensory Play in Early Child Development

*This is a collaborative post

Sensory play has a heavy focus in EYFS (the early years foundation stage). It focuses on the five senses of smell, sight, taste, hearing and touch as well as the connection between mind and body. As children are introduced to sensory input, the brain receives a message, and the body responds which helps them with balance in addition to many other day to day activities. If you’re a new parent and are looking to learn more about sensory play, we’ve outlined the benefits and provided a few activity ideas below for inspiration. 

This post was created with the help of a preschool in Worthing.

Using the Five Senses to Learn About the World

Children use the senses as a way of discovering new things and learning about the world around them. They will poke, grab, and even attempt to learn about objects by putting them in their mouths.

Brain Development

It’s also key for brain development. Stimulation of the senses builds and strengthens nerve connections in the brain's pathways.

Ears and Balance

As you may know, ears have more than one job. They provide hearing ability and balance. Sensory activities can help stimulate the vestibular system found in the ear which gives us an understanding of our body’s position and therefore help us to balance.

Sensory Activities for Early Child Development:

Sensory Bins

You can put together small baskets or containers with different objects for your child to explore. Everyday items like leaves, pasta and string which are child safe. As taste is also an element of sensory play, ensure that all items are clean and be aware of choking hazards and ensure that they have supervision whilst they play.

Food Play

Instead of feeding your child, you can let them have a go and experience their food. What it's like to squish, smell and taste.

Would you like to comment?

mummy24 said...

Interesting post thanks!

Wendy Lam-Vechi said...

I never knew that sounds help young children discover their balance. That's very interesting. We used to always let our kids explore the world with their hands and get messy. Most kids love it and it's so nice to see them discover the world that way

Siobhan N said...

When my children were younger I used to use jelly as slime so that if the did attempt to eat it, it wouldn't do any harm said...

as an parent of autistic children, sensory play is SO important for childrens development

Natalie Crossan said...

My daughter used to love sensory play, especially at nursery. I was always getting photos of her covered in beans and shaving foam!!