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Sensory Play: what's all the fuss about?

If you frequent Pinterest, get updates from facebook pages, and/or navigate the endless blogosphere for play ideas for your baby, toddler or pre-schooler you will continually see the term 'Sensory Play'; everyone goes on about it and there are thousands of great ideas of how to incorporate into your child's activities. But why is sensory play so important? 

We absorb the world through all of our senses; we thrive and survive because our senses process our surroundings; enabling us to fulfil our basic needs, recognise danger, follow comfort, and find the things and people we enjoy (including our partners - for procreation!). From the minute we're born our senses are on high alert; smelling our mother's milk and skin, listening to familiar voices from Dad and siblings - if our senses dont process these ultimate comforts we are seriously unhappy and we let everyone know about it! And that ensures survival! 

Its vital to nurture and encourage sensory development nowadays, as we tend to live within an indoor and very sanitised environment so the natural sensory experiences of communal and outside living don't arise for our children. Sensory experience and play allows children to develop essential skills for living; dexterity, language, imagination and creativity, object manipulation, fine motor skills; it teaches about our world - gravity and binary opposition for example; and it can deeply encourage self-awareness - learning social boundaries, learning what feels pleasant, comforting, calming, or what we dont like. Sensory development is entirely essential for well rounded growth and development. 

This article provides great insight into the importance of sensory play!
Here are all our Sensory Play ideas and of course there are lots more all over the internet. As usual The Imagination Tree has the best of the bunch! Happy playing! And please share your own ideas too!!

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