Sensory play, also known as sensory activities, is designed to stimulate a child’s senses. It has recently come into popularity as a way to help a developing toddler, but it is also a great way to interact with your child who has a sensory processing disorder. Here are some ways that sensory play can benefit your child.
Developing the Senses
As you know, the five main senses are sight, hearing, smell, touch, and taste. The purpose of engaging in sensory play is to focus honing on one or more of these senses at a time. For example, a tasting game could involve trying unusual fruits like kiwi or papaya, or do a similar activity with introducing new smells. Either way, the importance of sensory play is to help your child exercise their senses, especially if they struggle in a certain area of sensory processing. Sensory play creates a no-pressure atmosphere for children to learn to develop their senses.
Another great thing about sensory play is that it is inherently relaxing. You can introduce your child to some soothing classical music for a sound game. Because children have so much energy, doing an activity that makes them relax and focus on one sense is good for them, especially in situations that can cause anxiety. If you are about to take your child to the doctor, for example, then you can help them ease their nerves with a stress ball.
Fine Motor Skills
Fine motor skills involve using small muscle groups, particularly in the hands.This includes activities like tying shoes, buttoning clothes, and drawing. Tactile sensory play is especially good for building fine motor skills as well as helping a child become desensitized to textures that are unpleasant to them. You can create themed sensory bins, which can be shoeboxes filled with items centering around a certain theme like shells for a beach. That way your child can learn on several levels.
The Connections Therapy Center
The Connections Therapy Center serves families of children and adolescents with disabilities and special needs. We are a team of experts in the fields of pediatric speech, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, and behavioral sciences. As a team, we offer intensive hands-on therapy for children and adolescents, as well as informative and useful resources for families. If you are interested in learning more about what we can do to help your family, visit us online or give us a call at (202) 561-1110 (Washington, D.C. office) or (301) 577-4333 (Lanham office). Want to get more information on how to help your child thrive? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.