Infants and young children understand the world around them by touching, seeing, hearing and engaging their senses. It is through sensory activities, children get to explore, create, and investigate their environment and develop attitudes. In most cases, sensory play comes naturally to children. However, once they join a pre schools in Pune, they participate in more structured activities that help in brain development. Sensory play helps a child’s brain make stronger connections to process and respond to information.
Most people mistakenly assume that sensory play involves children using their sense of touch. However, this is not the case. The best sensory learning is when children engage all their senses, known as multisensory learning.
Multisensory learning is what we as a leading pre schools in Pune encourage. You will find children participating in intentionally designed activities to engage all their five senses. The good thing about sensory activities is that they are flexible. We encourage our teachers to use sensory activities in classroom settings and make them accessible to young learners.
Planning different sensory activities can be time-consuming and tiring. That is why educators and parents prefer using a sensory board.
So what is a sensory board? A sensory board is a board with various toys, textures, and objects designed to provide children with a unique sensory experience. Children can play with the board – it is especially effective for children who struggle to focus or have a short attention span.
What are the benefits of a sensory board?
Every activity on a sensory board is different, making the sensory board fun for children. Some of the main benefits of having a sensory board include:
- Hands-on-learning – As mentioned earlier, a sensory board engages a child’s sense of touch. Besides that, children get to build their fine and gross motor skills through various hand movements when playing with the sensory board.
- Creative play – A sensory board can have activities such as painting, drawing, and decorative items such as lights. Such activities help build a child’s imagination and encourage them to focus on the task at hand.
- Sensory boards teach basic vocabulary – Some sensory boards have activities that teach children about letters, sounds, and words. Such activities are best for preparation to enroll your child in pre-schools in Pune.
- Engages all senses – As mentioned above, a sensory board can have various activities that engage multiple senses. They can touch, feel, and hear, which are all critical in early childhood development.
- Sensory boards are relatively easy to make – A sensory board can be a fun DIY project for teachers, parents, and children. Children don’t require complicated tools or fancy equipment to make. So, teachers and parents can get creative with materials at hand, and use these to make a sensory board. Such activity can help strengthen the bond between adults and children which is crucial to holistic development. It is essential that you do not use materials that are not hazardous to the child.
Sensory activities will differ depending on the child’s age, and the activities should be age-appropriate. Having metal spoons will engage 3-4 years, but may not interest an 8-year old. Remember, the bottom line is that they have to engage all their senses to learn and help with their brain development.
Below are some sensory activities that can help your child’s learning process.
Playdough is a great sensory activity for children who like to touch and feel things. Children can mould stuff using playdough, which puts their imagination into action. Using play dough tends to reduce stress and calm children because they focus on what they are doing at the moment. A great way to make moulding clay fun is to hide objects in the dough.
This way, your child can differentiate shapes and textures between the play dough and the stuff you hide inside it. However, you know how children like to put everything in their mouths when they are young. If this is the case in your household, it is best to find a recipe for making homemade playdough safe that is edible and safe for toddlers.
A sensory bin is a container or tub filled with materials that will enable a child to focus, be calm, and engage with the environment surrounding them. A sensory bin is an excellent multisensory play method because you can fill the bin with items that engage the sense of smell, touch, hearing, taste, and sight. A sensory bin is a simple DIY project as you can repurpose a cardboard box or a plastic container that would otherwise be wasted.
A word of caution: please do not use very small or sharp objects for children.
As you know, there are different types of paint with different textures and different smells. A young child may or may not focus on the smell, but the texture will enable them to differentiate between water paints, acrylic paint, and oil paint. Besides painting, you can also use food. For example, when you are baking, you must grease the baking pan or baking sheet. Margarine has a different texture and smells from cooking oil. Different spices like ginger or cinnamon also have different textures – for example, ginger has molds while cinnamon is smoother. The spices can also engage the senses of smell and taste.
Adding musical instruments to a sensory board or a sensory bin is a great way to engage a child’s sense of hearing. You don’t have to make a complex instrument. You just need something that will produce different sounds. Create one from popsicle sticks or thread with varying levels of tension. You can also use rubber toys that make different sounds, engaging hearing and tactile senses.
You can use many other items on a sensory board, such as magnets, locks, fidgets, and plastic tubes. According to GIIS Pune’s academic experts, you cannot underestimate the importance of sensory play in early childhood development. Therefore, when choosing a pre schools in Pune for your child, you must choose a curriculum that includes sensory play in its learning activities. Most pre-schools in Pune have a curriculum that includes sensory play.