Why do babies need sensory play?
Development at any age is so critical, even as adults we have to learn more to grow and adapt but it is the most crucial in the very early stages of life. With the market place full of new innovative toys all the time what is it that you really need to look for when purchasing toys for the little ones in your life? In our mini series looking at toys that help babies we will explore what you should be looking at starting with looking at the benefits of sensory toys.
Unsurprisingly sensory toys do “exactly what they say on the tin,” they are designed to stimulate the fives sense; touch, sound, sight, smell and taste. Typically they will consist of bright colours, make different noises and are made of different textures. So what are the main five benefits?
1. Develop Motor Skills – Identifying through touch during tactile sensory play encourages using motor skills such as pulling, squeezing, pushing, throwing and touching.
2. Language Development – As a baby plays and learns it encourages the need to share with others which leads to the need to learn to communicate.
3. Problem Solving – Most sensory toys come with a “challenging” element; opening, closing, bouncing etc. The baby has to figure which of these things they have to do in order to play.
4. Enhancing memory function – Once a child has figured out how to play with their toy they then have to remember how to do it every time they go back.
5. Emotion Regulation – If a child is anxious or agitated a sensory toy (depending on the one used) can be incredibly calming teaching how to self soothe.
As well as buying ready to go toys it can be great fun, as your child reaches the toddler stage, to create sensory play areas. Here are some of our favourites from Mother & Baby.
Although sensory toys are a lot of self-exploration children learn best when their positive actions are reinforced so don’t forget to encourage your babies play, who knows where it could lead! We have an extensive range of toys available in store (when we reopen) and online. Please get in touch if you have any questions about which toy is the most suitable for you.