Boosting kids' creativity through sensory play

Little ones are sure to love this trending activity 

Boosting kids' creativity through sensory play
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In the past, sensory play meant staying within the boundaries of measurable results, hence keeping kids confined to certain environments and regulated play.

However, with global trends shifting towards free play, sensory activity proponents have now caught up. Experts are finally dismissing stagnant, old-school concepts for new and improved ways through which this type of play can be encouraged, all while giving kids the freedom to express themselves through sensory activities which heavily contribute to development.

“Sensory play builds nerve connections within the developing brain’s neural pathways, which trigger a child’s inclination for and ability to compete in more complex learning tasks,” says Dr Deepti Chaturvedi, paediatrics specialist at Burjeel Hospital, Abu Dhabi.

“It also enhances memory functions.”

This type of play also supports language development, cognitive growth, motor skills, problem-solving and social interaction.

“Play teaches kids to, well, play nice too. A mix of free and adult-guided play can help preschoolers be more aware of other people’s feelings,” adds Dr Chaturvedi.

Parents also support sensory play for it’s ability to calm an anxious or frustrated child, enhancing their positive experiences.

What parents need to remember, however, is that it’s important that kids learn to enjoy physical activity. They should be exercising regularly, but below a certain age simply playing is considered to be the best “exercise”.

“Avoid exercises that make the child feel inept or embarrassed. If they seem to enjoy an activity, that’s fantastic. If not, don’t force them,” she adds. “They should be able to feel accomplished.”

So, how do you encourage them to get moving? First of all, by helping them do it from an early age. Plus, kids need to focus on the fun aspect and spend time outdoors.

“Expose little ones to a wide variety of activities and sports, and build physical activity into your family’s daily routine. Show your kids how you’re physically active in your own life, too.” explains Dr Chaturvedi.

Make the time to get fit as a family – walk to the local park, go bike riding, join marathons or take the dog out for a stroll.

Validate “active play” by buying gifts that can get kids and teens up and moving, such as balls, bats, skipping ropes and other equipment – not electronic gadgets.

Get kids motivated towards playing whatever and whenever they can, in the backyard, dancing, riding a bike, running, swimming or playing at a kids’ gym.

Keep the kids fit at...

We Rock the Spectrum
Kid’s Gym

Sensory and motor skill development are two areas of growth that are crucial to kids’ wellbeing. While simply being outdoors can contribute to a healthy lifestyle in general, young ones often require certain types of equipment for optimum interaction.

Luckily, a Dubai gym offers just that. With ten sensory pieces designed to help put kids’ free play energy to good use, We Rock the Spectrum Kid’s Gym is an all-inclusive space for kids of all ages and abilities to have fun and be themselves.

“I came across the franchise online and thought it would be perfect for Dubai as an indoor playground in which children can fulfil their sensory and motor needs while having fun,” says Dr Nashila Farrah Jaffer, mum-of-two and owner of We Rock the Spectrum Dubai.

Go on then kiddies, play to your heart’s content.
From Dhs63 (per hour). Beach Park Plaza Centre, Jumeirah (04 343 2442).

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