Sensory Play and its benefits for autistic children
Children use their senses to explore the world as soon as they are born. This is the reason we usually find toddlers putting almost everything in their mouth trying to discover the taste and texture of different objects.
However, not all children find it easy to understand the messages they receive from their senses. Hence, sensory play is what comes into light for those children that helps them in adapting to their surroundings easily.
Sensory play is any activity that stimulates the senses. This includes the five main senses of touch, smell, sight, taste, and sound, as well as the two not-as-frequently-mentioned senses: vestibular (sense of balance) and proprioceptive (sense of where each body part is in relation to the rest).
Sensory activities facilitate exploration and naturally encourage children to use scientific processes while they play, create, investigate and explore. The sensory activities allow children to refine their thresholds for different sensory information helping their brain to create stronger connections to process and respond to sensory information.
The brain growth that occurs through sensory play enhances children’s senses, and their enhanced senses in turn make them better able to use those senses for learning.
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Sensory play offers immense benefits in the development of a child. Here are a few skills that children develop when engaging in sensory play:
● Language Skills: Children develop their vocabulary as they are asked to talk on a particular topic everyday
● Social Skills: Children learn to share, negotiate and plan.
● Fine Motor Skills: As children manipulate small objects, they develop their fine motor skills.
● Gross Motor Skills: Children develop gross motor skills by squatting, jumping, or otherwise moving their bodies.
● Dramatic Play Skills: Children use sensory materials to engage in dramatic play.
● Scientific Reasoning Skills: Children learn about cause and effect when manipulating sensory materials.
● Self-Control Skills: Children develop self-control as they learn to respect the rules and boundaries for sensory play.
There are many kinds of sensory play activities out there that can help your child in numerous ways. So go ahead, try them and have a wonderful time by engaging your kids in some of the creative sensory plays. By making sure the activities are fun and varied children will have the opportunity to develop these important skills and let them be in control of their own experiences and actions.