What is sensory play?
Sensory play is any activity that stimulates a child's senses, including their sense of sight, touch, taste, smell, and hearing. Sensory play can take many forms, including exploring different textures, playing with toys that make noise, and engaging in activities that involve the sense of taste or smell.
Why is sensory play important for toddlers?
Sensory play is important for toddlers for a number of reasons. First and foremost, it helps to support their overall development. As toddlers explore their senses, they are learning about the world around them and developing their cognitive, physical, and emotional skills.
Sensory play is also important for helping toddlers to regulate their emotions and cope with stress. By engaging in sensory play, toddlers can learn to express their emotions in a healthy way and develop coping strategies for difficult situations.
Finally, sensory play is simply fun! Toddlers are naturally curious and love to explore, and sensory play provides a great opportunity for them to do just that.
Can play mats be used for sensory play?
Yes, play mats can be a great tool for sensory play. Many play mats are specifically designed for this purpose, with features like different textures, bright colors, and built-in toys and activities. These types of play mats can provide a safe and engaging environment for toddlers to explore their senses and learn about the world around them. The one below is by Dwinguler Canada.
Here are a few examples of how play mats can be used for sensory play:
- Exploring different textures: Play mats with different textures, such as soft fabric, bumpy rubber, or smooth plastic, can be a great way for toddlers to explore their sense of touch. Encourage your toddler to feel and explore the different textures on the play mat, and talk about the differences between them.
- Engaging in imaginative play: Many play mats come with built-in toys and activities, such as pop-up animals, balls, or mirrors. These can be great for encouraging imaginative play and helping toddlers to learn about different objects and concepts.
- Experimenting with sounds: Play mats with built-in toys or activities that make noise can be a great way for toddlers to explore their sense of hearing. Encourage your toddler to listen to the different sounds and try to make them themselves.
- Engaging in sensory art: Play mats with built-in easels or whiteboards can be a great way for toddlers to engage in sensory art. Encourage your toddler to explore different materials, such as paint, clay, or markers, and to express themselves through art.
Overall, play mats can be a great tool for sensory play, providing a safe and engaging environment