10 Benefits of Sensory Play for Toddlers and Preschoolers - Happy Toddler Playtime (2024)

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Sensory play is a type of play that can have a profound impact on a child’s growth and development. From promoting fine motor skills to enhancing social and emotional development, sensory play offers a range of benefits that can help children learn, explore, and thrive. In this blog post, we’ll explore 10 benefits of sensory play for children.

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The Importance of Sensory Play

Sensory play is a crucial part of childhood development that allows children to explore the world around them through their senses. This type of play involves engaging the senses, such as touch, smell, taste, sight, and sound, to explore, learn, and discover new things. Children are naturally curious and eager to explore their environment, and sensory play provides them with the opportunity to do so in a safe and structured way. From playing with sand and water to experimenting with different textures and smells, sensory play can provide children with a range of benefits that can support their overall growth and development.

Sensory play is a type of play that involves using the senses to explore and learn about the world. From exploring different textures and smells to experimenting with cause and effect, sensory play can provide children with a range of benefits that can help to support their physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development.

In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at the many benefits of sensory play for children. We’ll explore how sensory play can promote the development of fine motor skills, enhance language development, encourage social and emotional development, and promote cognitive development. We’ll also examine how sensory play can stimulate curiosity and a love of learning, support physical development, promote sensory integration, enhance creativity and imagination, improve attention and concentration, and promote self-awareness and self-regulation.

Whether you’re a parent, caregiver, or educator, understanding the benefits of sensory play can help you to create meaningful and engaging experiences for the children in your care. Whether you’re setting up a sensory bin filled with rice and small toys or encouraging your child to explore the textures and smells of the natural world, there are countless ways to incorporate sensory play into your child’s daily routine. So why wait? Let’s dive in and explore the many benefits of sensory play for children!

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Exciting Sensory Bins for Curious Kids

Did you know I wrote a book of sensory bins? Click here for more informationExciting Sensory Bin for Curious Kids. Or grab your copy atAmazon.

Boring afternoons are made exciting with awesome animal-based bins, like Salty Shark Bay or Yarn Farm. Pretend play bins like Birthday Cake Sensory Play or Bubble Tea Party encourage creativity and imagination. And your kids will have so much fun they won’t even know they’re getting smarter with STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) activities like Sink or Float Soup, Magnetic Letter Hunt or Ice Cream Scoop and Count.

Designed for toddlers 18 months and up.

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10 Benefits of Sensory Play for Toddlers and Preschoolers

1. Promotes the development of fine motor skills

When children engage in sensory play, they often use their hands to manipulate different materials, such as sand, water, or playdough. These actions help to strengthen the muscles in their hands, which can improve their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.

2. Enhances language development

Through sensory play, children can learn new words and concepts related to the senses, such as “soft,” “rough,” “bumpy,” “spiky,” and “smooth.” As they explore different textures and sensations, they can begin to develop a richer vocabulary and a deeper understanding of the world around them.

3. Encourages social and emotional development

Sensory play can be a calming and soothing experience, which can help children to regulate their emotions and reduce stress. It can also provide opportunities for social interaction and cooperation with other children, which can improve their social skills and help them to form positive relationships with their peers.

4. Promotes cognitive development

When children engage in sensory play, they are often using their senses to explore and make sense of the world around them. This can help to develop their problem-solving skills and their ability to think creatively and imaginatively.

5. Stimulates curiosity and a love of learning

Sensory play encourages children to explore and discover the world around them, which can foster a sense of curiosity and a desire to learn more. This can help children to become lifelong learners who are excited about new experiences and ideas.

6. Supports physical development

Sensory play can provide children with opportunities to engage in physical activity, such as running, jumping, and climbing. This can help to develop their gross motor skills and improve their overall physical health and wellbeing.

7. Promotes sensory integration

Sensory integration is the ability to process and make sense of sensory information from the environment. Sensory play can help to develop this skill by providing children with a variety of sensory experiences and opportunities to explore different textures, smells, sounds, and tastes.

8. Enhances creativity and imagination

Sensory play encourages children to use their imagination and creativity to explore and experiment with different materials and textures. This can help to develop their creativity and imagination, which are important skills for problem-solving, innovation, and entrepreneurship.

9. Improves attention and concentration

Sensory play can be a calming and relaxing experience, which can help children to focus their attention and improve their concentration. This can be particularly beneficial for children who have difficulty focusing or who struggle with attention-related disorders.

10. Promotes self-awareness and self-regulation

Through sensory play, children can learn to recognize and regulate their own emotions and behaviors. This can help them to develop self-awareness and self-control, which are important skills for managing stress, anxiety, and other challenges that they may face in life.

Easy Ways to Incorporate the Benefits of Sensory Play Into Your Day

Here are some easy ways you can help your child reap the benefits of sensory play every single day:

  • 100+ of the Best Sensory Bins Ideas for Kids
  • 26+ Alphabet Sensory Bins

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Toddler and Preschooler Curriculums, Books & TV Show!

for Curious Toddlers

There is no limit to your toddler’s energy and curiosity. That energy and curiosity although a joy can be challenging at times. Their interest in just about everything around them is what makes them great learners. One and two year olds can soak up so much just from their senses!

But as a teacher or parent that thirst for learning can be exhausting. That is why I created this toddler and preschooler program. To help you get the most out of this time with your curious toddler without having to come up with creative ways to play and interact with them.

Play2Learn for Toddlersincludes 20 Units for toddlers. Each 2-week toddler unit has 20 super easy to set up and engaging activities for toddlers 18 months to 3 years.

Play2Learn Preschoolwhich includes 20 Units for preschoolers. Each 2-week preschoolers unit has 20 unique and easy to set up and engaging activities for preschoolers 3 years to 5 years.That’s over 800 learning activities for your toddler and preschooler at your fingertips! So many ideas you and your child will never be bored again!

Thesetoddler and preschool lesson plans and activitieswill definitely keep you and your toddler and preschooler busy playing and learning!

Click here for more information: Play2Learn

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Designed for toddlers 18 months and up.

Book:Super STEAM Activity Book for Kids

Learning all about science, technology, engineering, art, and math sets kids up for scholastic success―and it can be so much fun! Watch kids enjoy building STEAM skills as they color friendly fish, help water find its way to tree roots, solve math problems with mazes, and more.

Find out more and grab your copyhere.

Designed for preschoolers 3 years old and up.

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Book:Big Book of Riddles for Kids

Riddle me this: What’s an exciting way to practice critical thinking while having a blast?The Big Riddle Book for Kids, of course! From hilarious puns to tough brain teasers, kids can build problem-solving skills with hundreds of riddles that show them how to think outside the box.

  • 350 riddles for kids—Have hours of fun with riddles, puns and jokes, and math and logic puzzles that’ll get their wheels turning!
  • Level up their skills—Riddles get trickier as kids progress through the book, challenging them as they get better at solving puzzles!
  • Double-check their work—Kids can check their answers in the back of the book with a handy answer key.

Help children expand their minds while having fun with this puzzle book for kids!

Designed for kids ages 6 yearsold and up.

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TV Show:Curious Crafting

I’m so excited to share my crafting TV showCurious Craftingwhich launched in July 2022 onTVOkidsandTVOkids YouTube! Season 2 airs in the summer of 2023! We were also nominated in 2023 for Best Live Action Preschool Series by the Youth Media Alliance Awards of Excellence.

Set in the ultimate crafting space, Curious Crafting is a short form pre-school age series about the joy of making crafts. I lead a rotating cast of adorable little preschoolers (including my own) making magic out of common household objects.

In each episode we transform recycled items into magical crafts like a milk carton school bus, paper bag puppet or cotton pad turtle. The crafters learn and laugh their way through each activity while demonstrating what their young imaginations can create.

Curious Crafting shares the adventure and joy of making art with takeaway lessons for creating crafts at home.

This show designed for toddlers and preschoolers 2.5 years old and up.

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