How to encourage multi-sensory development in children?
September 02, 2020  |  Fine Motor Therapy

How to encourage multi-sensory development in children?

Exposure to multi-sensory activities is very important from the early stages of development, because it encourages children to explore their environment and interpret sensory stimuli in a variety of ways through their senses. It facilitates an awareness of their body and the functions of their different senses. For example, through exposing them to various smells they learn that their nose is what helps them to smell. Through exposing them to various tactile input, they learn textures and the proprioception of how to hold objects and move their hands through their environment to get preferred objects. While engaging in a sensory activity such as water play, children learn hot versus cold and the feeling of those temperatures on their hands. Sensory exploration helps children to learn body awareness. For example, an obstacle course with a tunnel, can encourage kids to feel where their body is in space (proprioception), while additionally  learning problem solving skills and balance while crawling through the tunnel. 


What we recommend


There are many sensory activities on the market ranging in levels of cost, purpose, and complexity. They can range from simple activities, such as utilizing shaving cream to facilitate tactile input while making shapes or letters with your hands on a cookie sheet, or all the way to activities that are more advanced in complexity and cost. An example would be to have your child lie on their tummy on a therapy swing to promote vestibular input, while using upper extremity strength to propel themselves around, while picking up puzzle pieces. Both of these activities are great and have multiple skills being addressed while still playing and having fun. The “water beads sensory and fine motor” set is something highly recommended for a multi- sensory activity that facilitates water play and tactile input, and additionally enhances fine motor practice with the fine motor tools that are included in the kit. The tongs and tweezers are helpful for further developing hand strength and dexterity. The pair of tweezers with handles are comparable to scissors which will assist your child in further developing their scissor manipulation skills. It will further develop coordinating their upper extremities to support the water bead bin while manipulating the tool in their other hand.


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How we can help


Facilitating growth and independence of children through therapeutic play and fun activities is what we enjoy to do most. We utilize creative and engaging strategies to promote repetition and learning of various skills. 


If you have concerns with your child’s fine/visual motor, gross motor, speech/language, or social/emotional needs we are happy to help. Additionally Beyond Speech offers free speech and language and motor screenings. If you are looking for top quality pediatric therapy near you, click here!