Let's talk all things sensory! As two pediatric therapists who incorporate sensory input and play in our therapy sessions daily, we want to stress how important the development of these sensory systems are for kiddos. The development of the 8 sensory systems begins at birth and is very important for little ones as it provides the foundation for which children explore objects, food, people, and the environment. The 8 sensory systems are essential not only for survival, but also learning, thinking, higher level processing, and engagement in daily activities.
Let's start with the 5 sensory systems people are most familiar with - tactile, visual, auditory, olfactory (smell), and gustatory (taste). Here are a few ways we specifically selected toys and designed activities to assist in the development of the 5 external sensory systems:
There are 3 more sensory systems that are sometimes "overlooked" - they are proprioception, vestibular, and interoception. Below is a brief definition of each sensory system:
- Proprioception is the awareness of your body’s position in space, such as a person’s ability to close their eyes and touch their nose simultaneously or knowing how much force is required to lift an object
- Vestibular system allows for balance and equilibrium of the body, in addition to awareness of the body’s orientation and movements. A child’s vestibular system shines when they are learning to walk by activating muscles in the body to prevent falling when their body position changes suddenly
- Interoception is the awareness of the internal body and organs. This sensory system helps a child begin to process sensations such as thirst, hunger, and the need to use the bathroom (relating directly to potty training for kiddos) and so much more.
Many of our products and activities assist in the development of these sensory systems such as:
a huge role in your child's
early development. The image
to the right shows where each
sensory system is located or
processed in the brain. Our boxes
contain more information,
activities, and charts to monitor
and assist in the development
of your child's sensory systems.
Be sure to check it out and reach
out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
for any questions!