Sensory play to stimulate language
From the very first day they are born, children are designed to explore the world via their senses. That's why babies and toddlers touch everything and put it in their mouths. It's why kids make funny noises with their mouths and experiment with how the world sounds with their fingers stuck in their ears. It's why your children spin in circles until they are so dizzy, they fall down and then get up and do it again.
Why is sensory play important to a child’s development?
When engaged in sensory play children use all of their senses. It promotes sensory integration which is the ability of the body to integrate and process all of the information it receives via the sensory modalities of touch, taste, smell, hearing, and vision. As children pour, dump, build, scoop, and explore they are learning about spatial concepts (full, empty). They learn pre-math concepts along with language and vocabulary. They improve their fine and gross motor skills, co-ordination and concentration. Messy play can be calming to children. It is not just about making a mess and getting dirty; it is an essential component to learning that encourages exploration and discovery through play
Sensory Play Isn't All About Touch
Some people, when they think of sensory play, immediately picture sand and water or kids playing with clay and play dough. But sensory play isn't all about touch; it's also about the other senses, too. For instance, the sharp scent of vinegar involved in a science experiment or the colors of water during a color mixing experiment or the texture and smells of scratch and sniff painting are all part of appealing to your child's senses.
You can easily create simple sensory (messy) activities for your children, here are some simple activities you can do at home:
You probably have a can of shaving cream in the bathroom, put some shaving cream on a tray or on the table and start your fun experience, you can draw shapes and letters (a great pre-writing exercise!) , draw animals and name them, you can also add some tools from your play dough bin. This activity can help stimulate language in hundreds of ways; you can teach your child adjectives (big, small, wet, dry), teach him/her new words, counting, action words it’s also a great activity to encourage social interaction with other kids.
Colored rice sensory play:
This activity is super easy. To make colored rice you will need 1 tablespoon of vinegar per cup of rice and as much coloring you need for the shade you desire, put the rice on a tray and let it dry. Your child will enjoy this too much especially if he/she likes to play with sand. You can add cups, animals, and cars to make your experience better and to be able to boost your child’s language, fine and gross motor skills and imagination in a variety of ways
By Dana Naser MSc SLP +962 79 633 789 5