When you give children the opportunity to explore materials, you are helping them develop their problem solving and decision making skills.
Children learn best and retain more information when they engage their senses. Have you ever smelled a campfire on a fall day or listened to a song and that scent or sound triggered a memory you had as a child? Many of our greatest memories are associated with one or more of our senses; for instance, the smell of a campfire or the words to a song that you memorized as a child. Now when you smell those familiar scents or hear those familiar sounds, your brain triggers a flashback memory to those special times.
Sensory play can be divided into 5 categories that correspond with the 5 senses: touch, taste, smell, hearing and sight. I would like to focus on the sense of hearing.
Engage your child’s musical side. Most children love to bang on things-toys in the bathtub, wooden spoons, pots and pans, cups, spoons, really anything that makes a sound.
To help children engage in musical exploration, you could make a sensory sound basket that contains items to promote explorations. Your sensory sound basket might contain: a plastic bottle, a paper cup, a metal spoon, a wooden spoon, or a plastic cup. The items could be of different shapes and colors too. Children love to tap on containers with spoons, tap containers together, drop items, and experiment with their own vocal sounds. Children love to make noise and sensory sound baskets are a great way to let children explore sounds and build upon their knowledge of how certain materials work. And perhaps, make a few memories along the way. Now…go make some noise!!!!!
Sources: Sensory Play by Danielle Steinberg, www.growingajeweledrose.com