Benefits of Arty Tots

Benefits of Arty Tots

Sensory play plays a vital role in a child's development.  When engaged in sensory play children use all of their senses.  It promotes sensory integration which is the ability of the body to integrate and process all of the information it receives from the sensory modalities of taste, touch, smell, hearing, vision, balance and posture and movement.

As children pour, dump, build, scoop and explore they are learning about spatial concepts(full, empty), they learn pre-math concepts along with language and vocabulary.  Messy play can be calming to children.  It is not just about making a mess and getting dirty; it is an essential component to learning that encourages exploration and discovery through play.

Here are 5 reasons why sensory play is beneficial:

Sensory play builds nerve connections in the brain's pathways, which lead to the child's ability to complete more complex tasks.

  • Sensory play supports language development, cognitive growth, fine and gross motor skills, problem solving skills and social interaction.
  • It aids in developing and enhancing memory.
  • Sensory play is great for calming an anxious or frustrated child.
  • It helps children learn sensory attributes like hot, cold, sticky to name a few.

At Arty tots we also practise fine motor skills.  Not having these skills can interfere with school and home activities. Fine motor skills are those skills that require smaller, more delicate movement; usually using the smaller motion with an emphasis on the coordination of those movements.

Fine motor movements involve the coordination of the small muscles in the hands and the fingers.  Strong fine motor skills are essential to complete tasks such as writing, cutting, using a fork or a spoon, threading beads, moving puzzle pieces, zipping, buttoning, and tying shoe laces.  Without well developed fine motor skills, a child might have diffulty learning to write or to perform many of the other critical tasks presented in preschool and kindergarden class rooms.

Children are still learning how to develop hand stability by building muscle strength.  Adults perform these tasks routinely, but for young children it requires much concentration and effort.

There are many factors affecting that can effect fine motor development.  One that is most commonly found in young children is a lack of interest or desire in what they are doing. Children learn better when they are interested in the activity they are performing.  It is important that parents, teachers, and caregivers engage children in activities that are fun and exciting. Unfortunately there can be serious repercussions if children's fine motor skills develop poorly.

Oftentimes children will experience low self-esteem and frustration as a result of inadequate fine motor development.  These negative feelings will make children avoid participating in activities that requires these skills.  The fear of failing prevents children from enhancing these skills which can be problematic for future development.  Children who feel overwhelmed and challenged need to be encouraged.  Positive reinforcement is an excellent way to motivate children when they are feeling discouraged about performing fine motor tasks.

Fine motor skills do not develop instantaneously.  They require patience, understanding, time and practice. 

Finger plays develop fine motor coordination as little brains have to figure out how to manipulate their somewhat clumsy fingers, making them do a mirror image of you. So the brain is being programmed, laying down patterns of memory.  At the same time the child is developing finger isolation and discrimination, sequential memory and body awareness.

The rhymes are simple and fun and introduce children to the natural rhythm of language.  By incorporating crossing the midline of the body, they are also stimulating integration of the right and left sides of the brain.

All of the above, crossing the midline, reciting rhymes, developing finger isolation and discrimination, along with sequential memory are essentials when learning to play a musical instrument.

The process of creating an art piece is more important than the product itself.  Art fosters sensory perception, provides the oppurtunity to represent and symbolize experiences, offers children a chance to experiment, create and build.  It strengthens kids' ability to think and make decisions, and helps children make sense of the world around them and most of all art is fun!

The process of art is the freedom to experiment and enjoy the feeling of creating without being concerned with the outcome of the product.  Process is creating something that is uniquely yours and not a copy of someone else's.

Creativity is as natural and nessecary for children as fresh air and sunshine! By exposing children to creative experiences, we give the gift of a rich and memorable childhood while laying the foundation for a lifetime of creative expression- all topped off with a heaping helping of important learning skills.