A child's learning starts through the senses of sight, sound, smell, taste and touch. Babies develop their senses even before they are born; they gain sensory awareness from the world around them when inside a mother’s womb. Sensory development is vital and a constant process. The mind learns how to obtain inputs from the senses in order to act together with the surroundings around them.
Toddlers react to their parent’s voice. They enjoy holding their toys and other attractive things. They chew on their fingers. As they grow older, their taste buds develop and hence their choice of food keep changing. Children continue to use their sense of taste to develop love for some foods and a dislike for others.
You can help the development of sensory skills in a child by providing them with a lot of stimulation through these activities:
1) When in the womb, talk to your baby. Read to your baby and even play music, directed to your belly.
2) Introduce children to fun songs and a variety of different genre of music. Play classical music for infants. Teach your children to dance. Sing to them.
3) When your children are old enough, take them in the kitchen with you while you bake and cook. Give them different spices to hold, feel, smell and taste.
4) To develop the sense of smell, encourage your children to smell flowers and different plants that have distinct smells. Ask your children to smell the different perfumes and fragrances that you wear.
5) Buy books that are made with special textures for a child to feel. Buy toys with different colors and shapes. Teach them to recognize different shapes, alphabets by keeping their eyes closed and feeling with their hands.
6) Teach them to enjoy the different sounds of nature like the chirping of birds, the falling rain or the whistle of the wind. Teach them to 'listen' rather than just 'hear'.
All these activities will help children carefully discover the world they live in through their different senses.
Be loving to your little ones and take care.