Most people think of sensory play as ‘messy’ play or exploration of different textures but it is much more than that. Sensory play includes activities that involve touch, hearing, vision, smell and taste, as well as movement.
Sensory play promotes exploration of the environment and also helps build important connections in the brain. These help children to make sense of incoming sensory information. This is important for developing attention and self-regulation skills.
You will notice that many baby toys and books are colourful and have different textures or noises that can be elicited by exploration. For older children paint, sand, rice, slime and play dough are always popular. Musical instruments are great for all ages to explore and in addition to the sounds, involve different skills such as blowing, striking, shaking and pushing buttons.
Nature play is full of different smells, textures, colours and sounds that you can explore with your child. Children also love to play with food and participate in cooking experiences which allows exploration of multiple senses.