The Benefits of Sensory Play for Children

sensory quote

Sensory play is so important for the development of our children’s mind. Here are just a few to get you inspired to get your hands dirty…


  • Stimulates brain function e.g. creative thinking and problem solving
  • Experience cause and effect, trial and error. Allows children to experiment with their own thinking


  • Invites children to come together and build their social skills e.g. Through sharing and taking turns with each other over a shared experience
  • Builds confidence in developing new friendships through a joint interest


  • Develops fine motor skills e.g. Painting with a brush and moulding playdough through their fingers
  • Develops gross motor skills e.g. Sensory walk through different textures


  • An outlet for calming anxiety and frustration through redirecting e.g. with playdough and painting
  • Manage feelings and emotions by engaging in a sensory activity


  • Giving children the opportunity to ask and answer questions, e.g. What does it feel/taste/smell/look like?
  • Develop vocabulary and receptive and expressive language skills

Benefits of Playdough Play

Fine Motor Skill Development: great for strengthening muscle tone in little hands – squishing, squashing, rolling, flattening play dough all develop children’s muscles and encourage prewriting and other skills such as cutting with scissors, using tweezers, holding a pencil etc.

  1. Creativity and imagination:  the possibilities for playdough play are endless- we provide the children with different resources such as natural, different sized paddle pop sticks, rollers and different animals and with the resources they are always able to use their wild imaginations to set up anything they can think of.
  2. Develops hand-eye coordination: by using a variety of materials and objects in playdough play can enhance hand-eye coordination, which is very important for children.
  3.  Social skills:  any activity where children are hands-on involved creates a fantastic opportunity for developing social skills. Playing with play dough in small groups and or with us teachers presents lots of possibilities for talk and discussion, playing collaboratively, problem-solving and planning with others.
  4. Literacy and Numeracy development: we have used playdough for a variety of literacy and numeracy activities – it’s a great fun way of involving children in literacy and numeracy activities, such as counting the number of shapes they have and using new-found describing words.
  5.  Promotes Play:  allows children to be children, to slow down and play, using a range of their senses and skills.
  6. Calming and therapeutic: simply sitting and squashing and rolling a piece of playdough in your hand is a very calming and soothing activity. This calms an anxious and frustrated child and can allow children to have time to themselves to control and maintain their emotions.



(adapted from