The Benefits of Sensory Toys & Sensory Play for Toddlers
Early childhood is a critical time for both physical growth and cognitive development, serving as the foundation that toddlers need to mature through adolescence into adulthood. Given the importance of this short period in a toddler’s life, it is up to us as parents to ensure they are given the proper tools and guidance they need to be successful later on in life.
A very simple and effective way to achieve this is by encouraging your child through Sensory Toys & Sensory Play. With that said, let's dive in and explore some of the many benefits of sensory toys for toddlers as well as some of the best ways to incorporate sensory play in your child’s playtime experience.
What is Sensory Play?
In a nutshell, sensory play is really just a form of playtime that encourages the use and stimulation of a child’s bodily senses, such as touch, sight, sound, taste, and smell. This is often facilitated through the use of toys that are specially designed to promote independent movement, balance control, muscle growth, and spatial awareness. Because a child’s brain and physical senses are not fully developed after birth, sensory play can be especially beneficial for strengthening the connections between their mind and body.
Benefits of Sensory Play for Babies and Toddlers
Sensory play is a fun and exciting form of playtime that focuses on developing a child’s mind and body through stimulating activities that inspire exploration, curiosity, creativity, and independence.
What are Sensory Toys?
As mentioned above, sensory toys are specially designed toys that employ the use of one or more of the 5 physical senses. These smart toys can be found in all shapes and sizes ranging from small marbles or wooden stacking blocks all the way up to large climbing structures.
Benefits of Sensory Toys for Babies and Toddlers
It's no surprise that kids are naturally active and curious by nature. This is largely because they are experiencing the world and their senses for the first time. The best sensory toys are the ones that fuel a toddler’s innate desire for sensory exploration and promote gross/fine motor skill development.
Sensory Toys for Gross Motor Skill Development
Gross motor skills involve large muscle movements, such as climbing, jumping, crawling, walking, and running. These larger movements are essential for muscle growth, balance control, and coordination.
Montessori Pikler Climbing Triangle
(6mo - 5yr)
Montessori Rocker/Climbing Arch
(18mo - 6yr)
Sensory Balance Board - Wobble Board
(1yr - 8yr)
(2yr - 6yr)
Sensory Balance Steps
(1yr - 8yr)
Sensory Balance Beam - Low beam
(1yr - 8yr)
The entire field of early childhood development is simply massive and would take years of experience to truly understand. Even so, it is our responsibility as parents to educate ourselves so that we may provide the right guidance and tools to our future generations.
I hope I was able to introduce you to some of the profound benefits of sensory toys & sensory play for toddlers and children. In review, sensory play is a form of playtime that cultivates a toddler's natural desire to explore their own mind and body through sensory stimulating activities.
When paired with the right sensory toys, we can provide our littles with a fun and exciting experience that inspires creativity, curiosity, and independence. With that I leave you with a quote from Maria Montessori, a world-renowned Italian physician and educator best known for her philosophy of child education.
"The child is endowed with unknown powers, which can guide us to a radiant future. If what we really want is a new world, then education must take as its aim the development of these hidden possibilities.
- Maria Montessori
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Lily & River is a family owned & operated children's workshop located in Phoenix, AZ (USA). Our mission is simple - to create the safest and most effective Montessori inspired toys to empower your little's to live a happy and healthy lifestyle.
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If you made it this far then I bet you would like some of our other resources. In our related post --> The Benefits of Montessori Toys for Children, we discussed:
- What makes a Montessori toy so special?
- Types of Montessori Toys
- What is Montessori Education?
- Top 10 benefits of Montessori education for children
- What is Maria Montessori’s philosophy?
- The Importance of Playtime