Nurturing all five senses of a newborn can be an excellent way to ensure that the baby will thrive within the first five years of life. By developing an exercise to enhance the use of the senses, parents can ensure that their infants have positive and healthy growth. Exercises that stimulate touch, sight, hearing, taste, and smell can be implemented into the teaching process. Touch is one of the most vital connections that can be shared between parents and their newborns because it releases hormones within the baby that stimulate comfort and growth. Newborns especially need the extra comfort after having spent 9 months in a warm womb that constantly kept them warm and enclosed.
Engaging in activites that incorporate the use of all five senses with children can help them develop strong cognitive, linguistic, emotional, phyical and creative skills.
The sense of touch develops before all other senses in embryos3, and is the main way in which infants learn about their environment and bond with other people. This sense never turns off or takes a break, and it continues to work long after the other senses fail in old age. Throughout life people use their sense of touch to learn, protect themselves from harm, relate to others, and experience pleasure.
incorporating touch like hugs, pat on the back, or high five for positive reinforcement of good behavior reassures children that they are loved.
use stimulating textures or objects throughout the home. Blankets, pillows, and furniture all display different textures that can be explored.
test the sense of sight by playing I-spy
experiment with light in the home like using candlelight to make shadows, playing flashlight tag, or using dimmers in rooms.
incorporate colors into the home by painting with color, or showing the child a variety of color throughout the home.
Engage your child’s musical side by playing or listening to an instrument.
Experiment with volume by playing with the stereo dial to investigate loud and soft sounds.
cook with strong-smelling scents like garlic, ginger, vanilla, mint, or lavender.
Make use of the great outdoors by noticing the smells of different plants or flowers.
Experiment with opposites by trying frozen foods versus hot foods, salty versus sweet, crunchy versus soft.
Who will benefit from this idea and where are they located?
These ideas benefit parents and children everywhere.
How could you test this idea in a quick and low-cost way right now?
sharing these sensory play ideas with friends and family who are starting families of their own would be the first step in testing the idea.
What kind of help would you need to make your idea real?
the idea would reach fruition when childcare centers that are centered around sensory play could be designed, constructed, and opened for children to learn and grow while playing and experimenting with a receptive environment.
Is this an idea that you or your organization would like to take forward?
Yes. I am ready and interested in testing this idea and making it real in my community.