What are the senses and what is their meaning?
Everyone knows them, the five senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch. But only a few people know that there are actually seven senses that we use every day. Or at least the other two senses are regularly forgotten: the sense of balance and movement. These two senses are just as important for the development of young children as the other five. But what are these seven senses actually for? We already have our senses at birth. In the course of life, they continue to develop and educate themselves better. The more we train them, the better the senses become. You can still train this in adulthood. It is even better, however, if the sensory perception of U3 children is already promoted.
Why is sensory perception so important to children? With every sense we perceive stimuli that are pounding on us from outside. After birth, a baby suddenly feels the cold on the skin, hears different voices and noises, perceives different smells, tastes breast milk, etc.
The mother can already clearly recognize it by her voice and can also smell her. You can even recognize the sense of balance in babies. It gives a start when you suddenly turn it on its side. If the sensory perception is disturbed in children, it is difficult for them to find their way in life. Fortunately, it is very easy to stimulate children’s senses.
The sense of sight
The sense of sight develops in the first years of life. At first it is not very mature. In kindergarten age, the eyes are usually better than in many adults. We take in most of the stimuli from the environment through our sense of sight. It is therefore important to encourage this sense at an early age and to find out whether the child can see well. Since most children like to look at picture books, it is very easy to stimulate the sensory perception of the eyes. But games like “I see what you don’t see” are also a good way to train your eyes.
The sense of hearing
The sense of hearing is well developed at birth. This sense gets better and better through different listening experiences. To promote this sense, the targeted use of music, instruments or a story told in a whisper is sufficient. We perceive more through our eyes than through our ears, but the sense of hearing is very important. In road traffic, for example. We have to make room when we hear a siren, pay attention when we hear a horn, look around when someone shouts.
The sense of smell
The sense of smell is less important to many people. Nevertheless, it fulfills equally important tasks. For example, if it smells like fire, we know that there is a threat. Often we neglect the sense of smell. But he too should be encouraged. Showing children how nature or different foods smell can be a very special experience.
The sense of taste
Traveling young children have a sense of taste. They all like “sweet” and grimace with sour or bitter flavors. When cooking and baking with children in the crib, the children can gain great experiences with different flavors.
The sense of touch
When it comes to touch, most people only think of their hands. However, we have the opportunity to feel something on our entire body. We feel a touch on the shoulder as well as a stone in a shoe. In order to give children a variety of opportunities to deal with tactile perception, you can create a feeling path or a feeling memory. Touching different surfaces creates and stores new connections in the brain. Painting with finger paints or kneading is also one of the simple means for tactile experiences.
The sense of balance
Children usually train their sense of balance on their own. They learn to turn, crawl, and start walking. In doing so, they absolutely need their sense of balance. Otherwise they would not be able to hold out at all. This sense is also trained through small course routes, balancing over a tree trunk or rocking. Later on, children need this to learn to ride a bike or to ride a bike, for example.
The sense of movement
Every child has a natural urge to move. Too much time with the media loses this drive. That is why it is particularly important that the children’s sense of movement is encouraged in the crèche. With walks, gymnastics, fighting, climbing, dancing or playing soccer, there are no limits to your imagination.
Why promote sensory perception in children?
Unfortunately, it is the case with the senses that you can unlearn them again if you do not use them. Similar to a sport that you can only do well if you continue to train. If you stop doing this for a while, the muscles become weaker, you forget the correct posture and have less stamina. It is the same with sensory perception in children. However, if you promote the senses on a daily basis, they connect with one another. They form new strands in the brain and promote overall development. The funding situations do not always have to consist of prepared offers. The sense of taste, for example, can be trained wonderfully while eating: “But food tastes good today. What is it? Does it taste sweet or is it spicy? ” Likewise the sense of smell: “What smells so good here? I think it comes from the meadow over there. Which flower smells so good? Will we find her? “
With the other senses too, support usually works on the side in everyday life. All you need is a little practice and time. The more time the children have to look for a smell, a taste or a sound, the sooner they can learn something valuable from it. If the sensory perception is already trained in the U3 area, this has far-reaching, positive effects. These children can usually concentrate better at school and can process information better and faster. It also has positive effects on social behavior.
Promotion of the sensory perception of U3 children
In order to promote the sensory perception of the children, there is not only everyday situations but also the possibility of planning this in advance. Various games and books as well as natural materials are suitable for this. Depending on which sense is to be promoted. In the following there are a few examples of implementation with crèche children. The examples are roughly assigned to the various senses. However, all ideas are comprehensive offers and usually promote several senses at the same time. For example, baking cookies together stimulates a large part of the senses. The ingredients are visually perceived with the sense of sight. The dough is kneaded with the sense of touch and rolled out. When trying the ingredients and the finished cookies, the sense of taste is addressed. By waiting for the alarm to go off when the cookies are ready, the children practice using their hearing. By kneading and cutting out the sense of movement is required. As with baking cookies, it is the same with many tasks in everyday life and also with most of the specific offers in the crèche area.
Sensory perception consists of many small actions that play together. Only rarely is only one sense used by us. This happens more specifically, for example when we blindfold and concentrate on hearing a certain noise.
Sensory games for crèche children
Sense of sight
- Look at picture books (e.g. hidden object books)
- “I can see what you can not see”
- Search games
- Shoe salad
- To paint
- Thread on pearls
Sense of hearing
- Finger games
- Knee rider
- experiment with instruments
- Playing pot hitting
- Walk in the woods, listen for animals
Sense of smell
- Walk in the woods, pay attention to smells
- Sow flowers, smell the earth, pay attention to the different smells
- Cooking together, pointing out smells
- make a herbal memory to smell
Sense of taste
- try different herbs
- cooking together
- eating together
- Prepare a fruit plate
- Try blindfolded
sense of touch
- Put chestnuts in a paddling pool and let the children bathe
- bake cookies
- Paint finger paints
- Barefoot path
- paint with shaving cream
- Test memory
- Massages with hedgehog balls, brushes, hands, etc.
- Paddling pool
Sense of balance and movement
- Build an exercise course
- Make roller board driver’s license
- Swing cloth games
- Movement songs
- Seesaws / swings
Special needs for U3 children
Every now and then it happens in day-to-day nursery that one notices that a child is not as fit in some areas as the others. For example, there are children who have little muscle tension and who find it very difficult to move around. Some children may even have a physical deficit and therefore do not come after the other children so quickly. In day-to-day day-care centers, it is therefore advisable to encourage the children to exercise their awareness in small groups. In groups of only two or three children, the individual children get more attention and receive more help. Perhaps there is even the personnel key so that the children can even be promoted individually.
If you watch closely, you can quickly see which child might need such small group or individual support. There are also children who are quickly overwhelmed by too many stimuli. For them, less is more. It is best to let them decide freely whether they want to participate in the situation or not. It is always better to include the support in everyday life than to overwhelm the children with a planned offer.
Materials to promote sensory perception
The following list shows the most important materials for promoting the senses in day-to-day nurseries. Of course, the list is not complete and can be expanded as required. You don’t have to buy a lot of materials, you can collect them directly with the children. Another way to stimulate sensory perception.
- Chestnuts for handicrafts or bathing
- Tree bark for touching, building or handicrafts
- Sheets for bathing, handicrafts, coloring, etc.
- Moss to feel and do handicrafts
- Beads to thread, feel and fill
- Finger paints for painting and muddy
- Mirrors to muddy, look at and discover
- Sand for experimenting, painting, mudding, building, etc.
- Swing cloth to run around and enjoy
- Swing to move around and relax
- Musical instruments for experimenting, singing, getting to know each other and relaxing
- Brushes for massages and for painting
- Hedgehog balls for massages and games
- Ball pit to relax and run around
- and many more
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