Benefits of Sensory Play

Types of Sensory Processing

In school, we are typically taught about our 5 senses but in reality we have 8!

✦ Touch (Tactile)

Hearing (Auditory)

Sight (Visual)

Smell (Olfactory)

Taste (Gustatory)

Movement (Vestibular - our body in relation to position and movement in relation to gravity)

Pressure (Proprioception - The feeling to our joints and muscles to know where our body is in space)

Internal State & Emotional Senses (Interception - such as pain, hunger, thirst)


Some specific examples of what Sensory Play can impact are:

  • Emotional Regulation (your child’s ability to be calm, to work through their emotions, to demonstrate their emotions based on the size of the problem) - This is closely related to interception.

    • Tactile Input - Much of what we see on social media as sensory play focuses on the tactile systems and involves using different textures in play to help expand your child’s ability to interpret and process new and unexpected textures.

      • Imagination - through sensory play kids are able to expand their imagination and process the world around them.

        • Language - Sensory Play can help to improve language development

          • Problem Solving skills - children practice new skills and use trial and error to build problem solving and critical thinking skills.

            • Fine Motor skills - Children will build their fine motor skills through play and develop hand strength.

              • Gross Motor Skills - Children will build their strength and gross motor skills by standing at their mud kitchen, reaching for items, squatting and bending to grab items.

                • Social Skills - Sensory Play is a great way to build social interactions with other working on sharing the space and items as well as engaging in the play together.

                  • Exploration - Sensory play is a great way for children to explore and experiment in new ways!

                    • Following Directions - Use recipe cards or verbal directions of how to make flower soup or brew potions.