Child Care: The Benefits of Sensory Play

Posted on: 17 November 2021

As a child care worker, providing sensory play opportunities is an essential part of the child care environment. The benefits for children and their development are extensive, and this type of play also happens to be a lot of fun! Read on to find out more about the importance of sensory play as part of your child's daily schedule.

Sensory play encourages cognitive development

Sensory play can be very hands-on and will provide children with the opportunity to practise picking up, squishing, placing and pulling objects. When children explore with their hands, it encourages the development of fine motor skills and allows them to master controlling their hands and fingers.

Sensory play encourages emotional growth

The child care environment is one where a child is able to express themselves, and sensory play provides a platform for them to experiment with that expression. It offers a comfortable space where their emotions can be explored safely without judgement or consequence. The confidence they gain from this type of self-expression assists them in developing emotionally and teaching appropriate responses to social situations.

Sensory play encourages problem-solving

Sensory play encourages children to use both their cognitive and problem-solving skills. Your toddler is provided with several different materials that they can experiment with, such as mixing colours or researching the differences between hard and soft. Through this exploration, your child begins to understand cause and effect as well as develop an interest in science.

Sensory play can encourage co-play with others

When you add props, such as play dough, sand or mud, the possibilities for sensory play are endless. Co-play is encouraged when a child experiences these different elements because they will want to imitate their peers. With the use of fun props, this safe and child-led play is made possible.

Sensory play supports language development

As a toddler experiences playing with different materials through touch, sight and sound, they begin to develop words for their sensations. They have the opportunity to talk to you or another child about whether it is squishy or wet, sticky or dry. Their language development process is supported because sensory play encourages communication in a safe environment. 

If you are interested in finding out more, then you need to contact a child care provider today. A member of the team will be happy to provide more info about this subject so that you can incorporate it into your provision.