Sensory Motor skills are integral for promoting children to venture out in the world and become independent, confident, and self-reliant individuals.
During the initial stages of development, children are constantly going through drastic changes to achieve control over their movements and develop an understanding of the world surrounding them.
Sensory stimulation or sensory input and motor skills (gross motor skills and fine motor skills) work together to help individuals easily maneuver through tiger surroundings.
Sensory and motor interactions are the foundation for optimum growth and holistic development in children.
In fact, sensory-motor skills allow children to coordinate their movements with respect to their senses.
Providing children with the proper learning and developmental opportunities as they grow up is crucial for facilitating holistic development.
Just like the development of sensory, physical, cognitive, social, emotional, gross motor, and fine motor skills, the development of sensory-motor skills is equally vital.
If you are a parent who is looking for ways to enhance and develop sensory motor skills in your child but does not know where to begin, look no further.
Here is all you need to know about sensory motor skills and their importance to help you curate the best learning environment and provide your child with the best activities to develop their sensory-motor skill.
What are Sensory Motor Skills?
The child’s foundation for learning and developing is heavily based on their sensory and motor interactions with the world that surrounds them.
Sensory development and the development of both fine motor skills and gross motor skills are crucial for becoming an independent, confident, and self-reliant individual.
Sensory-motor skills are activities where both sensory and motor skills work together to help you efficiently maneuver through your surroundings.
Children during the initial stages of development rely heavily on their sense of sight, taste, smell, hearing, touch, vestibular, and proprioception senses to make sense of the world that surrounds them.
Ideally, sensory motor skills require sensory stimuli or sensory input to produce an accurate response based on their motor output.
So, sensory-motor skills allow children to produce an accurate motor response based on their sensory input.
Sensory motor skills are a three-pronged process that involves the coordination between both sensory and motor skills:
- Sensory organs that receive sensory stimuli or sensory input from the surrounding environment.
- The receptors or nerves that carry the sensory input information to the brain to be decoded
- The brain then decodes the information and helps curate an appropriate motor response
Sensory-motor skills develop in children between the ages of birth to 7 years during which the child learns how to easily maneuver through their surroundings.
Sensory-motor skills are vital for children to coordinate their movements and develop spatial awareness.
What do Sensory Motor Skills Comprise?
Sensory motor skills are crucial for the child’s learning and development process that allow them to become ingredient and self-reliant.
Here is a list of skills that sensory-motor skills encompass to help your child easily maneuver through their surroundings and learn:
- Balance, muscle strength, coordination, and muscle tone
- Hand-eye coordination
- Fine motor skills
- Spatial awareness
- Bilateral coordination
- Gross motor skills
- Visual tracking
- Praxis or planning skills
A List of some of the Best Sensory-Motor activities:
Finding the right play activities to enhance and facilitate your child’s development process can become a quite daunting and perplexing task for most parents.
Sensory motor skills are crucial for early childhood development that helps children perform basic tasks effortlessly.
Here are some exciting, fun, and engaging sensory-motor activities that will help your child become independent and effortlessly reach age-appropriate developmental milestones.
Do-anywhere Sensory Motor Activities:
Here is a list of some fun sensory-motor play activities that can be practiced and enjoyed anytime or anywhere:
1. Crab walk:
Crab walk gross motor activity is a gym class classic that can help children coordinate their motor movements based on their surroundings.
Furthermore, carb walk activity can also be a great way of developing your child’s core strength.
Children of any age group enjoy jumping around whether it is in the house or outdoors.
Believe it or not but jumping can be a great way of developing your child’s gross motor skills, vestibular sense, and proprioception.
Rolling or crawling is a fun way of facilitating the development of gross motor skills.
You can help your child develop their sensory motor skills by allowing them to roll and unroll wrapped in a blanket or crawl under a tunnel.
Indoor Sensory Motor Activities:
Here is a list of some exciting and engaging sensory-motor activities that can be enjoyed even in the comfort of your home:
1. Sensory Bins:
DIY sensory bins involving rice, beans, or even beads can be a fun way to develop your child’s sensory motor skills.
Allow your child to get their hands in the bin and experience new tactile as well as visuals sensation as they play.
2. Baking or cooking:
Baking and cooking activities are an exceptional way of developing your child’s sensory motor skills.
Baking and cooking activities allow children to indulge in a multisensory experience to develop their proprioception, vestibular sense, hand-eye coordination, and fine motor skills.
3. Finger Painting:
Allow your child to bring out their inner Picasso while they learn and develop new sensory motor skills.
4. Dough Play:
Whether it is play dough, salt dough, or even moon sand dough play activities help enhance your child’s tactile sense and fine motor skills efficiently.
Mazes, dot-to-dot books, and jigsaw or object puzzles can be an easy way of enhancing your child’s fine motor skills, visual sense, categorizing skills, critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and hand-eye coordination.
6. Bath and lotion:
Believe it or not but daily self-care tasks can be a fun way of developing your child’s sensory motor skills.
Bathing can be a fun way of providing your child with a unique sensory experience and helping them become more aware of their movements.
Outdoor Sensory Motor Activities:
Here is a list of some fun and engaging sensory-motor activities that will promote your child to hit the outdoors:
Blowing bubbles or blowing on pinwheels can be a great way of facilitating the development of sensory-motor skills in children.
These activities allow children to develop core strength and develop breath support and breath control.
Sand can be a great tactile sensory stimulus for children and can be an easy way of facilitating mess-free tactile development.
Promote children to dig through sand in the sandbox and develop their hand-eye coordination and vestibular sense.
Tossing and catching activities is a great way of facilitating the development of gross motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and spatial awareness.
Walking or strolling around can be a fun way of developing your child’s gross motor skills and visual sense, and providing them with calm and tranquility.