Think about it – since when has your preschooler been talking properly? How proficient is she in her language skills? For any average three-year-old preschooler, the answer to the first question will be anywhere between 6 months to a year. Considering your child has under one year’s experience only in using language as a tool, she might not be too proficient and skilled in it yet. Now, think about how long she has been using her senses. Since when has your baby been seeing, smelling, hearing, tasting, and feeling?
All her life!
Most experts believe children are wired to receive information through their sensory organs from very early infancy. This is the reason why you will find your preschooler going to feel a new object first before she talks about it. Much of the information received through their senses is likely to stay with them. Think about your oldest memories. More often than not, they are likely to revolve around a particular smell or tune that still holds the power to transport you back to those times.
Fun Games for Kids Linked to Cognitive Development in Them
As it is with memories, so is it with learning. Children (and adults) retain the most information when they make use of their senses to learn. Studies reveal that sensory play helps build nerve connections in the brain’s pathways, which then helps kids learn complex things more easily. No wonder then, experts strongly advocate the use of sensory play in preschoolers. Consider the example of learning to play a musical instrument like the guitar. Unless one gets to feel the instrument, touch and strum the strings, and hear the music coming out, no amount of telling them how to play is likely to yield results. Sensory play, including many fun games for kids, gives them the opportunity to investigate and learn without any preconceived knowledge. Thus, it helps refine cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional, creative, and physical skills in preschoolers.
Sensory Play Opens All Channels of Learning
Sensory play through fun games for kids has been found to be so effective because they open all channels of perceiving and taking in information. In other words, sensory play is that medium of teaching that triumphs hands-on experience over lecture. It is through fun games and other varied practices that children get to use their senses and engage in purposeful experiences.
While sensory play is beneficial for children of all ages as well as adults, it is most potent for preschoolers. Combine sensory experiences of your preschoolers with detailed talk on what they are observing and you are taking them one step closer to making language the tool to express what they feel and experience. Enhanced language skills also give the young ones the much needed confidence to further their social interactions. Thus, by helping preschoolers use language to express themselves as well as by boosting their confidence, sensory play helps build their linguistic, cognitive, social and emotional, and creative skill-sets.
Fun Games for Kids and Other Sensory Play Ideas
When talking about sensory play, the first thing that usually pops up in mind is sensory table found in many preschool establishments. It, however, is not the only place for kids to have a sensory experience. Most fun games for kids are a great way for them to have a multi-sense experience. Even at home, activities can go a long way in helping kids achieve this. A few minutes of games and activities that allow kids to feel different textures, hear different sounds, smell varied smells, see multiple colors, etc., are all sensory experiences that will ultimately help your preschooler learn more than hours of classroom teaching can.
Whether it is an ice cube melting in their hands, water drying from their bodies, the smell of their lunch, the sounds of water dripping from a tap or fun games for kids like shaking colored rice in a can, making castles with sand, etc., find ways and means to maximize the time your preschoolers spend in exploring their senses and indulging in sensory play to encourage wholesome development in them.