The image of a garden full of roses and blossoms may come to mind first when you hear the term sensory garden. However, in the world of sensory integration, it is a play and learning space where children can use their senses.
What is the Sensory Garden?
Sensory Garden is a child-safe play area. It includes a variety of sensory tools and games. Specialists use it to create fun and interactive activities for children by utilising their senses. These activities aid in the educational and rehabilitation processes, allowing for the desired outcomes. These games and activities are referred to as sensory play.
Many tools and games in the sensory garden stimulate children’s senses. The aromatic plant basin, the touch wall, and the musical xylophone are some of the most interesting parts. And tools that aid in vestibular balance improvement, such as swings, slides, and balance paths. There are also muscle-strengthening tools available, such as the climbing wall and activity ladder. Furthermore, all areas are covered with special materials to keep children safe while they play and move.
The activities are done with the children either collectively or individually, for entertainment or to prepare them to achieve predetermined goals. Parents can join in on the sessions and games, which encourage the child to interact within the garden. Children can also play with their friends and peers to increase their participation.
Sensory Garden Benefits
The activities and games in the sensory garden aid in the physical and psychological development of children.
Sensory play helps a child’s body grow by building neural connections in the brain. This happens when the child uses all of his senses and limbs at the same time during an activity. It also promotes motor skill development and muscle strengthening in a fun and entertaining way for the child. Learning to observe and explore nature helps to develop thinking and problem-solving skills.
From a psychological point of view, having the sessions in the sensory garden helps the kids get their feelings out. Build relationships with their peers and encourage social communication among them. And boost their imagination, creativity, and self-esteem. It regulates feelings and sensations.
Sensory Gardens Types
Outdoor Gardens are designed following to the concept: hands in the dirt, heads to the sun, and hearts in nature. Where sensory tools and games are available in the open air and nature is a part of the experience and surroundings for children.
Indoor gardens are created inside large, closed-off halls, allowing users to engage in sensory play with garden games in a safe environment. The child can enjoy the sand pool, games, special swings, climbing wall, and other activities.
Users and Usages
The sensory garden is beneficial to children of all ages. It can be used in all educational and rehabilitation institutions that work with children. Teachers and specialists can be used in schools and kindergartens for both play and sensory development.
The sensory garden also helps kids with sensory disorders and autism by giving them a safe place to play and do therapy. Children can enjoy both individual or group activities within it, specially non-verbal communication is not needed. Allowing the child to experiment, play freely, and develop in a comfortable environment.
The sensory garden can be in public places and recreational spaces in a camp, school, or public city space to serve groups of determined people seeking recreation as well as physical and psychological development.
The sensory environment encompasses a wide range of services. Which is used to achieve a variety of goals in education, rehabilitation, entertainment, and sensory stimulation. It will help the therapist, specialist, teacher, or person in charge of the activities and sessions in the garden.