Young children learn about the world around them using their entire bodies. Using multiple senses to experience something new or participate in an activity isn't only educational for toddlers but can also be a form of relaxation or entertainment. Because of this, the more opportunities toddlers have to learn, play, and grow through sensory activities, the better.
Here is what you should know about incorporating more sensory activities into your toddler's routine.
What Are Sensory Activities?
A sensory activity, or sensory play, is any type of activity that involves one's senses. This could encompass any activity that encourages them to move their bodies, listen carefully to the noises around them, or pay attention to how an object feels, smells, looks, or tastes. This hands-on learning approach is a fun way to pass the time. It can also play a critical role in helping your child's brain develop.
The Benefits of Sensory Activities for Toddlers
While sensory play can be an effective way for children of all ages to learn, it's especially beneficial for toddlers. Along with teaching them to engage with their surroundings, participating in sensory activities can help children as young as one improve their fine motor skills, verbal communication, and ability to focus. This can pave the way for them to be better students, using investigative, creative, and critical thinking skills.
Sensory Play That Two-Year-Olds Need to Experience
If the idea of coming up with activities that will stimulate your toddler's senses while engaging their senses sounds like a daunting task, don't worry. Creating simple yet effective sensory activities are more accessible than you might think.
Here are some ideas to keep in mind when facilitating sensory play for your two-year-old:
-Fill a bin with an assortment of colorful pieces, such as buttons, pipe cleaners, and plastic eggs. This will capture their attention visually and allow them to practice using their fine motor skills as they pick up pieces of different sizes, shapes, and textures.
-Create a sensory bag using a plastic bag, hair gel, and small items, such as toys, balls, sequins, and coins. Duct tape it shut after sealing it, and encourage your child to look for hidden pieces.
Never Force Sensory Activities on Toddlers
In most cases, your toddlers are excited to participate in any activity that allows them to use their bodies, make a mess, or have fun in a surprising way. While this is true, it's essential to keep in mind that every person experiences sensations differently. If your child is hesitant to engage in a specific form of sensory play, it's best not to make them. Doing so can harm their sensory systems rather than benefit them.
Can Your Toddler Benefit From Sensory Play and Other Therapies? Contact Marshall Pediatric Therapy
Engaging your child's senses through play is a great way to help them learn, keep them entertained, and create new memories. For some toddlers, using certain senses is easier said than done, even when the activity is meant to be fun. If your child could use extra help in engaging their senses or could benefit from other therapies, the trusted team at Marshall Pediatric Therapy is here to help.
We are proud to assist children of all ages to learn, grow, and thrive through therapeutic and evidence-based practices, including sensory play. Contact us today to learn more about how sensory activities could benefit your toddler, contact us today. We look forward to helping your child live their healthiest, happiest life!
Image Source: Timski/Shutterstock