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Let’s get dirty! Why is getting dirty good for kids?  

Kids learn and develop through play. Playing outside is important and beneficial for kids in their physical, cognitive, and sensory development. Kids playing outside tend to develop more advanced motor skills than kids who stay indoors most of the time.

What is sensory play? Why is it important to children?

Sensory play is a type of play that engages children in activities involving 7 senses (touch, smell, vision, hearing, taste, balance, and body awareness). Sensory play helps to stimulate the senses and to build nerve connections in the brain, which helps kids with their development.

How does sensory play benefit children?

  1. Sensory development

  2. Provide sensory stimulation in tactile, auditory, vision, balance, body awareness

  3. Cognitive development

  4. Problem solving, creativity, exploration

  5. Motor development

  6. Support physical development in gross motor skills and fine motor skills

  7. Social development

  8. Social interaction with peers

  9. Other developments or skills

  10. Language development

  11. Creativity

  12. Executive functioning

  13. Problem solving

  14. Safety skill

  15. Attention span, focus

Outdoor sensory play activities for kids:

  1. Playing at the beach

  2. Play with sand and walk barefoot in sand

  1. Play in playground and a sandbox

  2. Go Hiking or go for a walk

  3. Messy play

  4. Gardening

  1. Building a sensory bin

Children play educational games with a sensory bin in kindergarten.

Engage kids in nature and connect with natural environment. For example, dig in dirt, climb on a tree, touch different textures of leaves and flowers, smell flowers…

Sensory play helps kids to build the skills they need through development.
I am proud to be an occupational therapist Ella Wu, OTD, OTR/L Doctor of Occupational Therapy
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