Did you know that a baby’s brain can double in size by the time they celebrate their first birthday? Or that during the first three months of their lives, two million new neural connections are formed every second!
Babies go through an incredible number of changes during the first year of their lives. This is the time when their sense of sight, smell, taste, hearing and touch start to develop – and that too at a rapid pace.
However, this extraordinary pace only slows down as they become older, which makes learning new things during this period even more significant. This is why parents are so concerned about their baby’s growth during the first 12 months. They want to take every step to make sure their baby’s growth is unhindered. In fact, parents are willing to do everything in their power to boost their baby’s development – which explains the increasing popularity of something called baby sensory classes.
What is Sensory Play?
Before we dive into what baby sensory classes are, it’s important that we understand what sensory play actually means.
Sensory play consists of all those activities that stimulate any of your little one’s senses (could be sight, smell, taste, hearing, and touch). The idea behind sensory play is that stimulating a baby’s mind with various sounds, smells, tastes, sights and textures will facilitate the development of neural connections in the brain. In other words, it’s supposed to help learning and increase intelligence.
Speaking of things that are helpful…
Baby Sensory Classes
More than 25,000 parents and babies take part in hundreds of these baby sensory classes. But what exactly are they?
Babies, like adults have an innate need to connect and learn new things. Sensory classes provide the parent and the baby with an environment where everything is designed to stimulate the senses, movement, and development of an infant. This facilitates the learning and development of babies at a very crucial stage. Some baby sensory classes even offer courses on yoga, massage, and swimming. Usually, there is a detailed lesson plan with various activities such as playing instruments, games, dancing, singing, etc.
Purpose of a Baby Sensory Class
You may be wondering what the right way to promote sensory growth is or if there is a wrong way. The truth is that the desire to learn new things comes naturally in infants. Everything from seeing your face, having their nappies changed, and even simple touches are all enough to stimulate your baby’s senses. Toys, music, games, and other children also greatly improve the quality of the learning process and makes it enjoyable for both the child and the parent!
The main purpose of a baby sensory class is to encourage sensory development through a number of carefully designed activities processes that are based on science and are well-thought out.
Sensory classes work on this principle and take it one step forward – providing babies with an incredibly wide range of sensory experiences that promote and facilitate growth of the infant’s mind.
Benefits of Baby Sensory Classes
Baby sensory classes can be pretty expensive and it makes sense to wonder if spending all this money is actually worthwhile. Not only can they can be expensive, they can also limit the parents’ ability to enjoy other parent-child activities.
So the question is: What are the benefits of baby sensory classes?
- Improved Ability to Learn
The brain communicates with the help of neurons that travel via neural pathways. When your baby is exposed to new experiences, these neural pathways grow. The more a baby feels, sees, hears, and touches, the stronger these neural pathways become. All of these things lead to an improved ability to understand and learn new tasks.
- Facilitates Development
Many parents are not aware of the effects that sensory play has on a child’s cognitive and motor skills. Playing with toys, games or interacting with other toddlers plays a big role in language development, cognitive growth as well as in promoting social interaction.
- Sensory play is calming
It’s normal for little children to get anxious, hyperactive or frustrated. In fact, it’s quite easy and can happen very often. Lucky for you, sensory play has another benefit and that is its calming effect.
Your baby will forget about crying or feeling agitated when it’s too busy watching bubbles falling down or playing with other children. You can also use this to make bath time easy by adding toys to the mix. And did I mention sensory play can also make babies sleepy? Yep, there’s your bedtime routine sorted.
- You Learn More About Your Child
When you take your little one out in the world to experience new things, you’ll notice what things they enjoy and what that they don’t. You get to learn about their feelings about different things. And even if they can’t fully comprehend their own feelings yet, these times can make up for some wonderful memories.
Needless to say, it’s also a joy to see your baby’s face when they get surprised or excited by touching or seeing or even hearing something for the first time.