Through all stages of early childhood development, children naturally use their five senses to discover the world around them and it is our job to give them plenty of space and opportunities to do just that. In fact, did you know that sensory play is crucial to brain development? It’s true! Sensory play also encourages language development, aids in the development of motor skills, and promotes problem-solving. One of our favorite benefits of sensory play is that it also allows time for mindfulness, which is something we can all benefit from!
Although there are lots of fantastic resources and tools available, some of the best sensory play activities are simple: listening to different sounds of everyday life, playing in water, feeling different loose-part materials (even food, like rice) or tasting the different options on our plate at dinner! Even getting children outside creates a whole new world of sensory play right there at your fingertips--what can you see, hear, smell, taste and touch in nature?
See how one of our customers took one of our favorite sensory play products and incorporated it further into sensory play, as well as creating opportunities for interactive play, open-ended play and imaginative play all at the same time! She let her daughter lead the way and we certainly enjoyed watching along:
Sensorial activities are used in Montessori learning to help children in discrimination and order. They also help broaden and refine a child’s senses.
I am always looking for materials and activities that will help develop my 26-month old daughter Keira’s five senses: hearing, touch, sight, taste, and smell. This wooden Guidecraft Tactile Search & Match puzzle from Constructive Playthings is perfect. Each puzzle piece disc has a different texture on it and will align to a spot on the puzzle board. I love wood toys and sensory play so I knew this material would be an awesome addition to our playroom!
In a traditional Montessori environment, teachers try to isolate just one of the five senses at a time for the child to work with. The Tactile Search & Match puzzle pieces can be aligned by texture by touch, by color or sight. So to fully isolate just the one sense of touch your child, you could close their eyes and feel the textures on the discs. However, Keira is not ready for that level of challenge, so I let her explore this new material using both her sense of touch and sight!
To add an additional sensory element I presented the sensory puzzles discs to her on a bed of rainbow rice. I find it fascinating to see how children decide to play with a toy or a new learning material. After she was done exploring the textured disk and matching them, she then used them as plates and started putting rice on them! I love her imagination.
Curved Sensory Balance Boards - KPI-50
Sensory Balls - RBB-20192p
Sensory Observation Set - CHG-86
Sensory Reflective Balls - CHG-201
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