Children of all ages, even adults, are better able to learn and retain information when several of their senses are engaged. This is why many of our childhood memories are associated with our senses, such as the smell of our grandmother’s signature dish or the song that was played on loop during a summer vacation.
Benefits of Sensory Play
Sensory play provides an opportunity for children to stimulate one or more of their senses, and is highly regarded by professionals for all of its benefits. One of the main benefits would be its support in cognitive development. As children explore different things, they gain a better understanding of the world around them and learn to connect words with corresponding objects. It has also been seen to help in problem solving.
Not only has sensory play proven to aid in cognitive development, but in physical development as well. It helps infants progress in their fine motor skills and coordination, which are critical for tasks such as writing and tying shoe laces.
Samples of Sensory Play With Water
Here are some water-based sensory play activities for your infant or toddler to try:
Starting with a tray of water, allow your child to experiment and play. Make sure to put this in a place you don’t mind getting wet! Change things ups by adding food coloring or a mild scent, such as orange, to the water.
Place several ice cubes into a tray. Kids can explore its cold and slippery texture and eventually watch the cubes turn into liquid. Be sure to supervise this activity, as ice cubes can be a choking hazard.
Fill a plastic jar or bottle with water and seal it tightly to make an improvised magnifying glass. Let your child be surprised with how objects look bigger through the bottle!
Fill a pan or basin with water and then place several toys into the water. You could put in a toy that floats, another that sinks, a sponge that absorbs water, or a small cube of soap that will bubble when played with in the water.
These activities may seem simple, or even nonsense, but they can teach your child a lot. Give some of these activities a try and let us know how it goes!