Play is an essential part of a child’s development, it helps them learn, grow and understand the world around them. Children are naturally drawn to sensory play and everything they experience is processed and understood through their senses. Through sensory exploration which involves looking at things, picking them up, tasting them and shaking them to make noise, children learn from the world around them.
Using play to improve sensory processing
It is important that children have opportunities to actively use their senses as they explore the world around them. Sensory information is passed from the body to the brain though the central nervous system and a series of physical responses are initiated. Thus sensory play is vital for brain development and is a device through which children learn how to integrate and process sensory information. It reinforces the neural pathways important for more complex learning tasks, language development, social interactions, gross motor skills and all types of future learning.
It is always important to meet a child at their developmental level rather than what might be perceived as age appropriate play and behaviours.