Sensory Development for Your Toddlers
Sensory Development for Your Toddlers
Sensory play is an important part of early childhood development, and it’s an area where you can easily make a big difference.
It’s necessary for toddlers to explore and learn about their environment, which helps them throughout life. However, sensory development doesn’t happen naturally. You have to actively engage with your toddlers for them to learn how to interact with the world around them effectively.
Sensory play helps your toddlers learn about their world through all five senses: touch, taste, sight, smell, and sound. By exposing children to different textures and tastes early on in life, they understand themselves within their bodies.
Sensory Activities Enable Your Child To Explore and Learn
Sensory development is the ability to process information from the senses. It’s essential for your toddler’s growth and development and learning.
You can use sensory activities to help develop sensory skills. For example, you might play a game that involves pushing buttons on a toy or listening to different sounds. Or maybe you’ll teach your toddlers how to put together puzzles, learn about shapes and colours by playing with plastic blocks, or explore textures by holding different materials in their hands (like velvet or wood).
Here are some sensory development activities you can do together with your toddlers.
Top 5 Sensory Development Activities for Your Toddlers
● Finger Painting
Finger painting is a fun and creative way for your toddlers to express their creativity. It’s also a great way to work on fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and cognitive function.
You can use finger painting as part of a learning activity or just as a fun activity by itself. You can even make it educational by including simple words or letters in the picture you paint together.
Put down old newspapers or butcher paper so that you don’t have to worry about cleaning up the mess or having paint drip onto carpeting or furniture. Then let your toddlers pick out some brushes (washable markers work well). You can use sponges, old toothbrushes, and foam pieces from craft foam sheets or any other object that’s easy for them to hold onto while they paint with you.
● Ice Cubes & Straws
The ice cube is an easy sensory activity that most toddlers enjoy. All you need are ice cubes, water, and a cup.
Sit down with your toddlers and let them explore the ice cube with their hands, mouth, and tongue. If your child is still new to drinking out of a cup, let them feel the texture of the ice cube before adding water. Then add some water to the cup and watch them put the straw into his or her mouth.
This activity is great for practising fine motor skills, such as gripping and holding onto objects with his or her fingers, but it also teaches about cause-and-effect relationships. For example, when you place an ice cube in a glass of water, it melts and disappears because of the heat from your hand or mouth.
● Playdough & Plastic Bowls
Playdough is great for developing fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination in your toddler. Use playdough to help teach colours or shapes by cutting them up into small pieces and making different sculptures. Plastic bowls are great for filling up with water or sand, which makes a fun sound when they’re tipped over! Young children also enjoy filling up bowls with rice or pasta. The texture of these materials offers another sensory experience and an opportunity to explore cause and effect as they pour the contents out of the bowl onto the floor!
● Smell & Guess
The sense of smell is one of the most powerful senses we have. It triggers memories, emotions, and more. So, it makes sense that toddlers enjoy smelling things! And, when you teach them how to use their sense of smell to explore their environment, they learn so much more than just what something smells like.
You’ll need a variety of objects like fruits, vegetables, spices and other household items like a basket or container to hold the items.
How To Play: Gather together several different objects, such as lemons, apples and onions. Let your toddlers smell each item and ask them what they think it is. Encourage them to tell you how it smells by asking questions like “Does this smell sweet?” or “Does this smell sour?” This makes it a fun way for them to learn about their senses and begin developing vocabulary skills as well!
● Singing Songs
If you want to develop your toddlers’ senses, singing songs is one of the best ways. Not only does it enhance their auditory skills but makes them happy. Here are some of our favourite songs that are perfect for sensory development:
Row, Row, Row Your Boat
This is a classic nursery rhyme that teaches children about different types of boats and how they work. It also teaches them about rhythm and movement that is beneficial for their visual sense.
The Wheels on the Bus
This is another song that has been around for ages and is used in many schools as well as at home. It teaches toddlers about colours and shapes and how things move when they’re being transported from one place to another.
Overall, sensory activities are crucial to enable your toddlers to explore and learn. These activities help them develop the skills they need for future success in school and other environments. The best way to start is by introducing different textures, colours, sounds and smells into their lives. Our First TouchTM programme uses experiential learning for infants and toddlers, enabling them to develop and learn through their own reflections and experiences. Children explore the world through their five senses. We encourage them to learn through touch by guiding them to explore their surroundings through various activities, objects, and thematic experiences as they discover and comprehend the world around them.
Every parent understands how it feels to have their child do something seemingly “out of character” and wonder…where did he/she pick it up from? Or when you are doing household chores or preparing to go to work, and they picked that exact time on purpose to break something. It can be increasingly frustrating, and it would be easy for you to snap at them. This is how not to set an example.