From the moment your precious bundle of joy enters this world, they are born ready to learn, grow and explore. They will instantly begin to use their five senses to try to understand this strange, new world around them. Using their senses to explore the world continues into early childhood development and is something we as adults rely upon without realising. Our senses provide us with vital information that informs our decision making thousands of times a day. Providing sensory experiences for your little ones is therefore crucial to their brain development and helps to build up this skill for themselves.
Research shows that opportunities for sensory play are crucial in brain development as it builds nerve connections in the brain's pathways which leads to the ability to carry out and understand more complex learning tasks. They have a lot to learn and are beginning to make connections, links and develop their understanding of people, places, shapes, interactions, sounds and objects around them. Repetition is so important and revisiting sensory experiences over and over is essential, you certainly don't need to come up with a new idea everyday!
Exploring through sensory play comes naturally to little ones and if we can provide the vehicle then the little ones can drive the car. There is no strict rule on 'how to do baby sensory' or 'how to provide a sensory experience', part of the experience is using your imagination, your child's imagination and interests and seeing where your play together will take you! When you think about sensory experiences, it is typically the use of touch. It is important to remember that all five senses need stimulating and so a range of activities that allow for sight, touch, smell, hearing and tasting are key. Providing a range of different sensory experiences and picking up on how your little one engages with these will be the best thing for your little one. Remember, every child is different, unique and develops at different stages. My little boy is 6 months now and still can't roll over, but he is desperate to be up on his feet all the time trying to walk!
I hope through my blog and social media as I share sensory experiences I create with my little boy you will be able to re-create these, or use them as inspiration for play with your little ones. Helping and supporting fellow mummies, daddies, teachers, practitioners and child-care workers to play, bond and learn with your little ones is my goal. The benefits for both you and your little one are endless, but to point out a few:
- Supports language development.
- Supports cognitive growth.
- Develops fine and gross motor skills.
- Encourages problem solving.
- Encourages ‘scientific’ thinking.
- Allows for social interaction.
- Prompts awareness of one’s self.
- Promotes mindfulness and builds resilience.
As always, if you are inspired by any of my ideas please share a photo or get in touch to let me know how you and your little one explored. I love seeing them!