The Importance of Sensory Play
by Joanna Piekarski, M.Ed
Sensory play is messy! Often times parents avoid this type of play for exactly this reason. But guess what? You can always clean up a mess and in the mean time your children are building important skills. Here is why sensory play is important:
1. Children explore with their senses – children are tactile learners and it is important for them to explore different textures – hard, soft, squishy, etc.
2. Sensory play is open ended. Open ended play is important for building cognitive skills and imaginary play skills. It also enables caregivers to engage in child-led play – which improves quality of the parent-child relationship
3. It builds language skills – there is lots to comment on and label during sensory play. “That’s squishy”, “You made a snake”. “That’s a big ball”. All of this is exposure to new language for your child.
4. It builds fine motor skills – manipulating, rolling, pinching, and squishing sensory items with your fingers such as playdough, slime, or sand can really help build fine motor skills.
For home made sensory play activities, visit our resources pa