….. sensory discoveries at Little Sponges Montessori
Explore the wonderful world of sensory Treasure Baskets with your child ...
THE BENEFITS OF TREASURE BASKETS AND SENSORY STIMULATION
Children derive so much from sensory-rich play and while you watch their concentration, focus, determination, problem solving and social skills as they play with natural materials, you will see why it is so important. It is hugely satisfying for children. The value of sensory experiences and benefits for children’s learning have been highlighted by respected philosophers and educationalists over more than a century (for example, Montessori, Steiner, Dewey and Malaguzzi).
We now know that the human brain is made up of billions of cells called neurons. These remain at rest until a stimulus occurs when an electrical signal passes from one neuron to another, relaying information about everything we see, hear, taste, touch and smell. When we experience a sensory input, a new ‘pathway’ is formed.
The importance of sensory experiences as a mechanism for establishing these vital connections could not be clearer.
From birth, children use all their senses to make meaning from the world around them. Our brains are constantly decoding patterns (in sensory information) to help us understand the world, shaping children’s brains and influencing development and learning.
Sensory stimulation is great for kinaesthetic, tactile, visual and auditory learners, so given that a good treasure basket offers all these attributes, it’s not hard to imagine some of the fascination and delight they promise.
Children’s senses cry out to be used first to provide the experiences that they will later need in order to connect. Children must feel the world, listen to it, see it, taste it, smell it, and “know” it. Our senses are the gateway to all learning.
The treasure baskets used are designed to meet babies’ and children’s every sensory need as they become deeply engaged in play with whole body exploration, concentration, problem solving, creativity and imagination. Older children too thrive on such sensory-rich, open-ended resources, offering plenty of scope and freedom for exploration and heuristic, ‘discovery’ play and limitless potential for stimulating creativity.
THE BENEFITS OF TREASURE BASKETS …
Free play with a treasure basket is believed to offer a host of benefits for children across the ages, including:
• developing fine motor skills and hand–eye coordination
• stimulating all the senses, including the lesser known proprioceptive
and kinaesthetic senses, necessary for providing positional feedback
• creating vital connections in the brain
• encouraging exploration and discovery
• increasing concentration and focus
• developing shoulder, arm and back muscles
• building confidence and self-esteem
• firing imagination
• encouraging problem solving and creativity
• helping develop speech and language.