Sensory integration is a developmental process that is worth stimulating from an early age. It’s confronting the child with the diversity of the surrounding world by affecting his senses: sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell. Check out how to practice with your child to support his sensory development!
This sense is exercised by touching various surfaces and objects with the hands and other parts of the body. How to develop the sense of touch:
- give your child toys with different textures (metal, wooden, plastic, etc.);
- draw his attention to differences in the thickness and texture of the clothes he wears, and ask him to share the sensations of wearing them;
- give the child massages with brushes, balls, massagers or oils;
- develop the sensitivity of the child’s feet by walking on various surfaces without shoes;
- draw on his body with fingers or a brush. Allow him to smear with a special non-toxic washable paint, then wash it off in the bath.
It is exercised in good light conditions, in daylight, on walks. Sight is exercised by a bright interior of the room, a harmoniously decorated space and periodic rearrangement. How to develop the sense of sight:
- travel a lot, visit new places, show the child various objects of infrastructure and nature: houses, lakes, forests, mountains, factories, sea waves, railroad tracks, etc..;
- surround the child with objects in earth colors, train him to distinguish shades (for example, turquoise from light blue);
- show him works of art, photographs – the degree of detail of the elements depicted on them should be graded;
- teach the child to describe the characteristics of objects in his field of vision, exert emphasis on colors, shapes, sizes;
- train the ability to judge the distance to one object or another. Distance can be demonstrated with steps, and then ask the child to count in his head how many steps, more or less, separate him from the selected object.
Smell and taste
A toddler’s diet is not very varied in the first months of life, so the development of taste sensations begins with the introduction of the first complementary foods into the child’s diet – around 6 months of age. Smells, on the other hand, infants already distinguish odors from birth. It is important to keep the air in the toddler’s room clean. How to develop both of these senses:
- go on walks with the child more, especially in spring and summer, when the air is filled with the smells of flowering plants;
- replenish the child’s “database” of smells – naming them so that the child can later identify different aromas on his own. For example, the smell of rain, soap, bread, etc;
- introduce a variety of products into the child’s diet, familiarize him with new tastes; pay attention to the nuances of tastes: sweet, sour, astringent; associate tastes with certain products: lemon is sour, and fish is salty.
This type of sensory experience begins to form as early as in the womb, so you can practice sensory training in this area as early as during pregnancy. Turn on pleasant music and avoid irritating loud sounds. What to do once the baby is already in the world:
- speak to the toddler in different voices – change the tone depending on your mood or situation;
- read fairy tales, modulating the voice depending on the character;
- turn on different music for him, characterizing it with words: calm, energetic, beautiful, heavy, sad;
- sing lullabies to the child;
- buy him various musical instruments;
- show what sounds various surrounding objects can make.
main photo: unsplash.com/Sigmund