Why is sensory play so important for children? Play that uses all their senses promotes sensory integration in developing minds and allows children to integrate and process information more effectively. Here is how sensory play encourages creativity in preschoolers:
Sensory Play Creates Neural Pathways for Creativity
Research tells us that because many of the experiences of today's children are monopolized by television, computerized programs or battery operated toys, children are growing up without the sensory-built neural connections that allow them to be creative thinkers. Sensory play makes children create their own experiences, which builds new brain pathways to encourage further creativity.
Sensory Play Allows Creative Experimenting
Whether they are mixing colors of Play-doh, making mud and sand pies, playing with bubbles or filling different sized containers with beans or rice, children use sensory play to test out ideas like:
- What happens when you mix blue and red?
- How can I catch a bubble on my finger?
- What amount of water makes sand stay together the best?
- Which shape container holds more beans?
Sensory Play Encourages Imagination
Your child doesn't need fancy toys for sensory play. In fact, challenging your child to use things in a new way can engage their imagination. For example, children can:
- Use a cardboard box to make a robot, house, truck or castle.
- Use plastic lids and other recyclables to create an animal using glue or tape.
- Paint blob creatures on newspapers using jello, Koolaid or pudding.
- Make instruments by hitting different sized cans, bottles or blocks.
Sensory Play Allows Open-Ended Experiences
Creativity in preschoolers is encouraged when the process is more important than the outcome. Sensory experiences allow children to manipulate objects in many different ways, encouraging them to solve problems in more than one way and engage in make-believe, which not only expresses their unique ideas but enhances their self-esteem. For example, a child might use a bedsheet for:
- Playing a superhero.
- Pretending to be a butterfly emerging from a cocoon.
- On top of chairs as a tent.
- As a place for a picnic with stuffed animals.
As a play-based preschool, Kids Konnect uses play and sensory experiences in all subject areas. If you are interested in seeing how our program might benefit your child, we'd be happy to have you call and schedule a visit. Do you have a favorite sensory activity you did as a child? Share it in the comments!