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Benefits Of Sensory Play For Children With Special Needs

While sensory play is actually beneficial for all children, the benefits of sensory play for children with special needs is even more critical for their growth and development. Let’s explore what it is and how it helps.

What Exactly Does Sensory Play Entail?

Sensory play includes any activity that stimulates a child’s sense of touch, smell, taste, sight, and hearing. In addition, it includes anything that engages movement and balance. Sensory play should activate as many senses as possible to allow children to become familiar with more of the world around them.

How Sensory Play Enhances Learning

Children learn best through activities that stimulate the senses.

Some benefits from sensory play include the following:

  • Develops and enhances a child’s memory because we retain information that is connected to our senses. Similar to how a song or a smell can trigger old memories, sensory play will help a child remember letters, words, or numbers when stimulating their senses to stay in their mind.
  • Teaches a child valuable life skills like problem solving, math basics, and social skills like sharing. In addition, it can help them to develop motor skills like scooping, pouring, and cutting.
  • When children use their senses, it creates nerve pathways in the brain. Textures, taste, and sound, can expand their mind and teach them to employ the scientific method using trial and error and experimentation.  They learn to solve problems and complete tasks that may be complex.
  • Playing with textures, tastes, and objects help children to build language skills and learn new associative words. Water isn’t just wet, it is rough when there are waves, it is slippery with bubbles, and cold when frozen.

So you see, there is more going on with sensory play than just playing.

When a child is encouraged and allowed to use multiple senses to accomplish a task, they learn more and retain the information better.

Contact TLC Pediatric Therapy at (407) 905-9300 to help encourage your child with special needs to find ways to incorporate sensory play into their life.