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The Importance of Sensory Activities

Updated: May 7, 2021

Happy day!

Today I wanted to talk a little bit more about sensory activities and the importance of utilizing these types of activities in your baby's life and play!

First of all, the word sensory might be unfamiliar to some mothers. No worries at all, let me explain! A person's sensory system includes anything to do with how our bodies receive and interpret different types of stimulation around us. This is processed through our senses. Now many people think there are five senses (seeing, hearing, smelling tasting, and touching) but there are actually two more! The vestibular sense, or movement, helps us interpret where our bodies and heads are in space. This is important for sitting upright, walking, and running without falling over. The proprioception sense helps us with body awareness, or more specifically where our body parts are in relation to others. This sense helps us determine where to move our hand and how much pressure to use when picking up an object. Overall, these senses help us interact with the world around us and function.

When a baby is born all of these senses exist, but as they continue to grow and develop their senses are also developing as well! This is why it is important to incorporate sensory activities into your baby's playtime! This will help these senses continue to grow, allow them to interact with new experiences, and learn (which means their brain is actually growing and creating new pathways!)

Try incorporating new sensory experiences into your baby's life! Try toys with sounds and lights, give them different textured objects to explore with their hands (and mouths!), or let them splash in the water or play with cups and sponges. Just remember to always be there with them to help explore and to keep them safe.

By adding in new ways for your baby to learn about the world around them, you are equipping them with tools to explore and even learn what types of sneosry input they prefer or do not care for. Overall, I hope this give you a little understanding of what the senses are and why incorporating sensory play and exploration into your baby's life is important!

Sensory activities to try with your child will be a popular theme on the OT Corner Blog as it pertains so much to the practice of occupational therapy! Watch out for more fun activities to try at home with your baby and as always, let me know if you have specific requests or questions for me!

- OT Kasey

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