I always let my kids play – play with mud, water, food (cutting and eating all by themselves) – whatever they really like. Most of the times, they make a little mess but that is getting under control in the recent months. Sensory play, or play where the senses of touch, sight, taste etc are actively involved is extremely important for development of children. Even as my kids start preschool, I am trying to keep sensory play intact.
Free Sensory play is underrated and vastly ignored by us as adults. I wish I could just lay on the beach and make sand castles all day long. Alas, it is too hard for my own busy mind.
Free play can teach kids a variety of things –
1. They learn to be in the moment.
2. They learn to focus. In this digital age, we all know how important focus can be.
3. They learn to sense and soak more as they quiet their minds. Skills such as listening come from there.
4. They learn things we cannot teach. They learn that they can write in the sand, discover patterns in the strangest things and so on ….
5. They learn to learn on their own.They learn to discover and not depend on others to learn.
I found this wonderful series on Sensory Play at Play Activities. Check it out.
Also, check out the Memetales Podcast on Raising Playful Tots. We hope you enjoy listening to it!