In a society that is highly becoming more digital by the minute comes the swell of gadget use. It is said that 36% of Filipinos have about 10 gadgets per household, which could tell why it has become a normal scene at homes that even kids use it for play. More so, giving them the latest gadgets has been a way for parents to give their kids so much more, with their digital acumen considered as an advantage.
While it is true that gadget play can teach children in many ways, it is through active sensory play when all their five senses are awakened to discover and learn the world around them. This has been proven by Johnson’s baby in a social experiment to see how children respond to gadget play versus playing with textures and shapes, water, different implements, and even with other children. Captured in a heartwarming film, this initiative has unveiled the wonders of learning using the five senses through active sensory play – as witnessed by the moms themselves.
“As a brand committed to the happy, healthy development of children, we at Johnson’s believe that every activity that a child does can mean so much more to him,” said Trina Tanlapco, Johnson’s Associate Marketing Director. “Active play is integral and essential in the holistic development of children to let them discover the world around them. As a brand, this is something we would like to keep reminding parents of. With the information and products we offer, parents can let their children turn playtime to a time of learning while they #playforreal. ”
Apart from fostering the bond between parent and child, it is during active sensory play when all five senses of the child are awake, making him more receptive to learning the world around him. According to Fiona Sandoval, a licensed clinical psychologist and play therapist, a child reaps the maximum benefits of active sensory play when his senses are enhanced and maximized in these activities. “The brain grows up to 90% of its adult size from birth up to five years old. It is important that all the different senses get stimulated in activities like active play during this period so that the neurons and brain connections are formed better. If this is achieved, there will be more synapses and connections, which can optimize the brain development.”
Meanwhile, Monica Javier, a teacher who has worked with preschool children for more than ten years, also added that active sensorial play help children prepare for bigger things ahead of them which is why it is encouraged to be integrated in early education. “More than fun and entertainment, play actually helps children to expand their knowledge about themselves, allows communication with others, develop new competencies that may prepare them for challenges of the bigger environment.”
In school, sensorial activities are used to teach children about different concepts. For example, encouraging them to play and explore with blocks allow children to distinguish shapes, sizes and weight; it also encourages them to plan strategically. Providing opportunities to paint with different implements or with their body develops creativity and teaches them about colors and textures. Running, jumping, crawling or any form of movement can help them develop gross motor skills. Pretend play in these areas encourages communication among them.
“Sensory activities allow children to go through a scientific process in a very natural way. While playing, they ask questions, predict, make hypothesis, test hypothesis and make conclusions,” shared Javier.
(L-R) Host Eliza Ypon, Teacher Monica Javier of Keys School Manila, licensed clinical psychologist and play therapist Fiona Sandoval, mom Kris De Guzman, and Johnson’s Associate Marketing Director Trina Tanlapco pose for the camera after a very engaging discussion on the importance of active sensorial play in the children’s holistic development during the gadget-free playdate held by Johnson’s baby.
For mom Kris De Guzman, a mother of two, introducing sensory play to her children balances out their time from other forms of play. It also makes them more imaginative, creative, and resourceful in the activities that they do together. “At home, bath time is also playtime for my kids. We play with bubbles, make up stories, and learn about body parts. Through simple activities like this, we are able to make enjoyable moments together and strengthen our connection toward each other,” said de Guzman.
Indeed, playtime can mean so much more, so let your kids #playforreal. To learn more about how you can do sensory play at home or in your school, visit https://www.facebook.com/JohnsonsBabyPhilippines.