The best way to play with your child is by stimulating their senses. There are 5 senses in all…. sight, smell, sound, touch and taste. Through their senses children learn about the world around them. From birth children are using their senses to discover and learn and that is why they like to put objects in their mouth or make lots of sounds with various pitches and tones. Some research shows that sensory play has a vital role in child development and also some show that those children exposed to a stimulating environment during early childhood have an educational advantage in preschool.
Not all of us have the 5 senses, some of us have a loss of vision or loss of hearing, whilst children with Autism or ADHD might have hypersensitive (increased reaction) or hyposensitive (decreased reaction) senses. Children are all different and so are their abilities, so as a parent, teacher or therapist you must be able to gauge what the child is comfortable with and what senses are best to stimulate so as to be able to achieve a better outcome.
With increased use of technology and screen time, children’s visual senses are overwhelmed whilst other senses are often blocked, moreover outdoor play in Malta is no longer what it used to be some 30 years ago due to increased traffic and a decrease in open spaces and safe outdoor environments. It has therefore become very popular for parents to seek classes and activities to stimulate their children’s sensory experiences.However parents can easily do this at home or on family outings, such as playing around with different mediums such as paint, water, soap, and more…..obviously this is all at the expense of a picture perfect home !!! Outdoor activities such as walks in the parks or a day at the beach where children can be made aware of different smells, sights, textures and sounds all contribute to their sensory experience. As a parent our primary responsibility is to keep our children safe but it is also important to let them be free and explore their surroundings even though it might mean some cuts and bruises… so let them climb up those trees, swing on the branches and remember you did that once too !
The aim of our sensational sensory area within the EduRomp blog is to give parents, educators and therapists different ideas and practical advice on how to exercise those senses . Please free to share your own ideas, this is a blog for all to share and communicate !!