The first five years of a child's life are crucial in shaping how they relate to the world around them. To help your toddler grow and learn, it's important to create tons of opportunities to develop their senses.
What is sensory development?
Generally speaking, sensory development refers to the maturing of the five senses: hearing, smell, taste, touch, and vision.
Why is it so important? Because every human uses their senses to understand and respond to what's going on around them. Strong senses will make your child better-equipped for complex learning tasks while helping build social intelligence and problem-solving skills.
Keep reading for our favorite sensory activities that are easy for busy moms and dads to do on a daily basis.
What are some easy sensory development ideas?
Grab your toddler's favorite toy look for items around the house that are the same color. Point them out to the child and reiterate the name of the color with each item.
Let your child explore different textures by handing them a series of different items, like a silk scarf, warm pottery, or a fuzzy sweater.
Head outside in the evening time, once your neighborhood quiets down. Listen for any identifiable sounds and ask your child what it is. It can be as simple as crickets chirping or cars passing by.
Let your child smell a few spices and see which one they like best. Opt for whole spices like cinnamon sticks, vanilla pods and bay leaves. Avoid ground spices which dangerous if accidentally inhaled while smelling.
Gather up a few foods your child has never had before. A spread of 5 - 8 different foods should be sufficient for this activity. As they taste each one, ask them to describe the taste and how it feels on their tongue.
We hope you’ve found some new sensory activities to try with your toddler.
Here are some things to consider to help you tailor these ideas to your little one:
- What's their favorite color?
- Do they enjoy music or singing?
- How about trying out an art project like play dough, finger painting, watercolors, or crayons?
Knowing what excites your child will make it easier to find appropriate sensory activities. And if you don't know, ask them! Your child can tell you if something feels good (or doesn't), so be sure to take their input into consideration.
Your child’s brain is developing rapidly, and the more you expose them to different sensory activities in their early years, the better!
What have been some of your favorite ways to engage all five senses with your toddler? How do they respond? Let us know by commenting below!