I love sensory play! It is messy, fun, and children learn so much from it. When children play in the sensory table they expand and define all areas of development:
Social Emotional: The sensory table allows so many opportunities for children to feel good about themselves and about the decisions they make since there is no right or wrong way to do it. Children also have the opportunity to learn to cooperate and work side by side with their peers. When children work side by side with others they learn to understand someone else’s viewpoint while also being able to express themselves and share their ideas with their friends. Not to mention the way the sensory table helps relieve stress!
Cognitive: The sensory table has so many learning opportunities that you wouldn’t think of. Math skills: things like measuring, size, counting, matching, conservation, sorting, and classifying. Science skills: things like cause and effect, gravity, and learning the difference between solids and liquids.
Physical: Fine motor and large motor skills are also defined while children play in the sensory table. Children define their fine motor skills by sifting, pouring, grasping, and spooning. They define their large motor skills by using their whole bodies to explore materials or using their feet when we have a floor sensory activity.
Creative: Children can explore freely in the sensory table and make their own decisions on how they want to manipulate the materials in the table. Being able to use your own creativity is a big self-esteem builder!
Communication/Language: When children are interested in something they are more likely to talk about it. Many children are drawn to the sensory table since it is open to interpretation on how to use it, so this is the perfect spot for conversations to begin and continue. Children also learn pre-writing skills from pouring, grasping, and spooning.
Life Skills: Children have the opportunity to work on problem solving and decision making as they determine how they are going to use the materials in the sensory tub. They also learn skills like sharing with others in a small space and how to divide the material so all children can play.
Sensory play is always a great idea for play time that enriches as well as interests the children. Enjoy!
- Ms. Jenn