Play to Progress – Lead Your Child to Success Using the Power of Sensory Play
For children to develop to their fullest potential, their sensory system—which, in addition to the big five of sight, hearing, taste, touch, and smell, includes movement and balance (vestibular), body awareness (proprioception), and internal perception (interoception)—needs to be stimulated from the time they are born. Their senses flourish when they explore their environment by touching new textures, including their food, running, jumping, climbing, and splashing outside.
As an occupational therapist with a specialty in sensory integration, Allie Ticktin has seen an increase in cases of children who struggle to sit in circle time or at their desk upright and who are delayed in walking, talking, and playing by themselves and with their peers. In the recent past, kids spent their days playing outside and naturally engaging their sensory system and building key developmental skills. But with increasing time pressures for both kids and parents, children are spending more time in front of screens and less time exploring and interacting with their environment.
The good news is that boosting your child’s sensory development doesn’t take enormous amounts of time or supplies, or any special skills. Here, Ticktin discusses the eight sensory systems and how a child uses them, and offers easy, fun activities—as well as advice on setting up a play area—that will encourage their development so that your little one will be better able to respond to their emotions, build friendships, communicate their needs, and thrive in school. That’s the power of sensory play.