Babies and toddlers are wired to explore. Sensory play provides them with the opportunity to capture this natural curiosity and develop a love for learning in early childhood.
The importance of sensory play filters through to physical development, during tactile sensory play activities, young children familiarise themselves with objects through touch. They stimulate their senses through play by squeezing, moulding, pulling, and shaping which helps develop their fine and gross motor and problem-solving skills.
For example, think about all the strength it would take a young child’s small hand to manipulate and squeeze play dough into shape. The more these motions are repeated, the stronger their muscles in their hands and arms become. Think of it as a baby gym! In time this development can lead to supporting your child’s balance and coordination.
It’s beneficial to incorporate messy play in sensory activities to help stimulate your child’s senses. By using their hands to explore different textures and temperatures, your child is opening their brain to a multitude of learning benefits and fine-tuning those crucial motor skills.