Why is Sensory Lifestyle important
Sensory ~ A word often used by Occupational Therapists (OT) when referring to a part of child development. This word is now becoming popular outside of my profession. I hear it from all my mommy friends and parents which I meet at playgrounds when I take my son out to play. Everyone keeps talking about the need to do sensory activities with their babies.
Fantastic news, but not so fast
The spread of a need for sensory activities in our community is great. But keep a weary ear on the context and application of these activities. As my husband would say “there are many experts, but few walk the talk”. A simple word like ‘sensory’ can often lead to a push to fallacious child development activities.
Let’s take an example: making tactile activities such as sensory bags or tactile boxes. Are they the right tools? If yes, then have you considered the senses they are engaging? As great as they are, they only target few senses. This means the myriad of other developmental senses are being excluded. Yikes. So the lesson is, ask an OT (someone like me) or educate yourself before committing your child to a singular sensory tool.
When I think about my childhood I remember being outside running around with my friends until dusk. My favorite activity included playing shop. My parents bought me a scale. My girlfriends and I would play for hours. Gathering leaves to use as currency and adding water to sand to create different products. This is just one of many activities which I enjoyed. Yet I remember that my other favorite activities included getting dirty, climbing trees and playing on the playground structures.
Sensory development while living with technology
Times have changed. Technology has engraved into our culture. It is a part of everything we do. It has also lead children to became more sedentary with their preferred activities. Parents feel more pressure to get their kids out to play outside. Finding a balance can be stressful and overwhelming.
But it is possible. And I will show you how.
My goal with this blog is to provide you with information about all our senses. I will also provide you with ideas of activities. Activities which you can encourage your children to do. And in time, they will go back and play like we used to when we were children.
Providing your children with the opportunity to experience our world the right way by integrating their senses should be a parent’s priority. Having a sensory lifestyle is not only for kids with sensory processing disorders. Sensory experiences should be part of everyone’s day. Every day.
Play is an essential part of a child’s development. As children interact with their physical environment they use their sensory systems. Sensations are like ‘food’ for the nervous system. Without a good supply of diverse sensations the nervous system cannot develop to it’s maximum potential. Thus, functioning in the everyday life can become challenging. Learn how to avoid this and help your child start on the right foot.
Higher level cognitive activities like reading, writing and play are a result of a well integrated sensory system. The sooner you start the foundational building skills the better. Foundations are pivotal to your child’s success. If you start the process early, you will be helping your child develop coordinated bodies and inquisite minds. Welcome to living a sensory lifestyle.