We ask the experts from Pods Play about the importance of the senses and creative play in child development
Scientific genius Albert Einstein once said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.”
From birth, children explore the world around them by using their senses; touch, taste, smell, sight, hearing, and even movement. Sensory play is any activity in which a child uses their senses to create, investigate, and learn about their environment. Role play in children is an effective way to build speech and language skills, social and emotional resilience, increase self-awareness, and develop the ability to think critically and solve problems.
Imagination is a critical part of child development, so parents should encourage their child’s imagination and nurture creativity. When a child is in ‘play mode,’ they often cannot tell the difference between real and pretend life, so it is a great way for them to experience new scenarios and develop a broad range of skills.
When children are exploring their creative side through imaginative play, it is often their method of making sense of the world and testing a range of experiences. Imagination is very important as a child is able to think outside the box and learn. Often, imaginative play involves acting out a range of experiences; it might be an experience that they have previously had, or something new and of interest to them.
During imaginative play, a child is able to experiment and test their decision-making skills; they are able to learn how to interact and react in certain scenarios, which helps to further their social skills and also to increase their intellectual growth.
Problem-solving and critical thinking skills are tested as the child may identify an issue whilst playing and then they are in a situation where they must think of multiple solutions, before selecting the most suitable solution and testing it out. The opportunity for a child to explore a range of outcomes, to then weigh up the pros and cons before concluding a final decision, helps a child to develop the skills required in day-to-day situations.
Imaginative play encourages children to challenge themselves; this leads to the discovery of fears and a child can then figure out how they might deal with their fears.
Imagination and creativity are also useful in building a child’s self-confidence; the child will often be acting-out during the imaginative play, which is a great way for them to boost their communication skills which will help with future social interaction.
Creative, imaginative play enables a child to express themselves verbally and non-verbally, which can also help a child to practice their language skills. Children are given the opportunity to develop as a person and are able to learn what methods of communication work best for them. Many children incorporate objects into their imaginative play such as toys, dolls, boxes, and rocks – this is a brilliant way for a child to learn and to further their development.
When children invent a scenario during imaginative play, they will explore a range of roles and be able to explore how these different roles might react or behave. For example, if a child imagines that they are working in a vet caring for animals, they may explore the possibilities of working under pressure and act as a caring, organised character as a veterinarian. The child might imagine the challenges that they would face as a veterinarian, and from this, they could develop a passion for working in this industry.
It is recommended that children have a suitable place to play in their own homes. These could be areas such as a separate room, a certain section of a room such as a corner, or even under the dining room table!
This is where PODS come in! PODS is a whole new world to be explored within an inflatable, themed environment. PODS provide the perfect play space for all children – they are secluded, sensory and spacious spaces.
An important part of playtime is that the environment should be changed frequently so that a child can explore different scenarios and can be stimulated in different ways; methods to do this include changing props and toys that might be present.
The sensory PODS provide a changeable environment as we provide a large spectrum of colours to light-up the POD, and the environment themes can be changed so that your child can be travelling to another galaxy one day, and living in a fairytale the next. We have seven unique adventures to choose from and our brand new PODS Digital Pack which contains e-books, audio books and magical sound effects to enhance your experience in your POD.
Explore our range now at www.podsplay.com