Monday, February 13, 2017

The Importance of Sensory Play - Update from the Mental Health Team

FROM THE MENTAL HEALTH TEAM (copied from the January Administrative Newsletter)
The importance of sensory play

What is sensory play? Sensory play is an important part of learning. It enhances children’s senses, which are the most basic ways that we process new information. Sensory activities can be beneficial for all children. It provides children with opportunities to explore their environment and engage with tools that encourage use of different senses. Sensory play activities can help children focus, refocus, stay engaged, and remain in a regulated state. According to, sensory play includes any activity that stimulates your child’s senses. The five main senses are:
  • Touch - tactile
  • Sound - auditory
  • Sight - visual
  • Taste - gustatory
  • Smell - olfactory 

 In addition, there are two other powerful senses:
  1. vestibular (movement and balance sense)-provides information about where the head and body are in space and in relation to the earth's surface.
  2. proprioception (joint/muscle sense)-provides information about where body parts are and what they are doing.

Sensory play activities There are many activities that children can do at home. The following provides a list of the most popular activities for children to engage in sensory play:
  • Playdough, theraputty (easy recipe for playdough:
  • Sand, rice or bean table
  • Sensory bin filled with different items (i.e. marbles, beans, cotton balls, etc)
  • Squishy bags
  • Shaving cream
  • Bubbles, water play
  • Jumping on a trampoline
  • Crab walk, bear walk, push-ups
  • Rocking in a rocking chair

Mental Health Team:   Dr. Patricia Schumm, Jessica Rudnick, Melanie Collins, Ana Encarnacion, Miguel Aquino, Ruth Killough-Hill