Children experience their world through the senses. As living beings, we rely on our senses to navigate through different environments, tasks, and activities throughout the day. The more we engage with our senses, the more we enrich our experiences.
The process of engaging in sensory stimulations is especially important for children because their brains are developing and taking in tons of information that will help them shape how they interact with their world.
Even more so, this is vital for children with ASD because they may have sensitivities to sensory stimulation. Using the right tools, toys, and activities can mean a world of difference with regards to healthy development for these children.
In this post, we will cover the reason why sensory play is important for children and vitally important with children with Autism, ADHD, and anxiety.
What is Sensory Play?
To put it simply, Sensory Play involves any type of activity that engages a child’s senses.
This is a broad field, considering pretty much everything children do will involve seeing, hearing, tasting, touching, and smelling to some capacity.
Why is Sensory Play So Important?
We want to focus on the benefits of sensory play for a child’s brain development.
Our brains are always bringing in information from our environment in an attempt to solve problems and figure out how things work.
When a child begins to engage with a new object or activity, the brain will use the senses to “figure it out”. When this is done repeatedly over time, synapses in the brain are built and grow strong. This is when children develop skills and “muscle memory”.
In short, sensory play creates the necessary synaptic responses in children’s brains to promote the development of skills and how to carry out tasks and make sense of things.
Some may refer to a child’s early years as the “critical period”, meaning the time during which their brains have the most “plasticity” and can take in maximum amounts of information and create new synapses for development.
Therefore, sensory play is super beneficial for the first seven years of a child’s life.
Sensory Play for Children with Autism
Children with autism may respond differently to sensory input than children who do not have autism.
They also may have difficulty with social skills and communication.
That being the case, sensory activities that build new neural pathways in the brain regarding cooperation and playing with others will be beneficial for these children.
Children with autism may also have emotionally charged reactions to certain situations.
Certain sensory activities can serve as a method of calming children down when they become overwhelmed or experience a “melt-down”.
Lastly, fine motor skills and gross motor skills are improved through sensory play, and because children with autism may have challenges with balance, timing, and coordination, certain sensory activities help strengthen and improve these areas.
Sensory Motor Activities that are Fun, Easy, and Build Skills
Throwing a ball back and forth- Helps develop gross motor skills through the coordination and motion of large muscles.
Play-doh- Helps improve fine motor skills through working with fingers and promotes creativity as well.
Legos and Puzzles- Build fine motor skills through building with legos and fitting together puzzles pieces. Also helps with problem solving and critical thinking.
Home-made musical instruments- Can stimulate fine and gross motor skills if you are creating the instruments, playing them and adding dance as well!
Simpl Dimpl- Stimulates fine motor skills and delivers sensory experiences by pushing and popping the buttons.
Pancake Pile Up– Builds fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination by allowing the kids to flip and stack the pancakes.
Creeblers- Builds fine and gross motor skills by allowing children to build and stack as well as throw and catch.
DeveloPLAY Box- The perfect combination of sensory toys and tools designed to stimulate and nurture development in children with autism, ADHD, and anxiety.
How the DeveloPLAY Box Can Help Your Child's Development
The DeveloPLAY box was designed for children with autism, ADHD, and anxiety, but it can be enjoyed by any child.
It is a perfect way for parents to quickly and easily have the right tools and toys shipped to their door with the assurance that their children will have fun and be developmentally stimulated.
DeveloPLAY sensory motor tools and toys are hand-picked by occupational therapists and packed with love.
With a DeveloPLAY subscription, you can be certain that your children are getting the sensory stimulation they need to get the developmental gains that every child needs.
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