Sensory play is one of the new “things” in toddler development. Engaging all of their senses is supposed to stimulate their little brains, making them learn easier later down the road and increasing their awareness of their worlds. Children with sensory issues are encouraged to play in this way in order to quiet their minds and stimulate them in a way that they can handle, so that they can deal with other situations that are more stimulating more easily. Children without them are encouraged to play this way anyway.
But does it really make a difference?
Research shows—and will continue to show—that different children learn in different ways. Some are enticed and excited by sensory play. Others find it boring. How they react will depend on the individual child—but what benefits does it have for your child (and you)?