Here at The School Playground Company, we specialise in promoting varied and inclusive play through our wide range of stimulating and creative play equipment. Foremost among these is our range of sensory play panels.
But what is sensory play, and why is sensory learning important for developing children in schools?
The Many Benefits of Sensory Play
Exploration and sensory learning allow children in EYFS education and SEN students to experience and interact with stimuli and situations that mimic real-world situations in a safe fun environment to practice and develop vital skills for healthy development.
The Charity group Action for Children notes the many benefits sensory play can have on childhood development, this includes:
– Understanding cause and effect
– Developing fine motor skills
– Language and communication skills
– Social skills
– Memory development
– Emotional regulation
Access to these kinds of vital sensory experiences is not available on many UK school playgrounds, limiting experiences that can help many students who may not relate to or fully understand other sensory toys and classroom activities. Therefore, providing sensory playground equipment outdoors to freely play with at their own pace and in their own time is important for any school or nursery playground’s sensory garden, outdoor classroom, or play area.
Designing Sensory Play Areas
Children should have access to a range of sensory play resources for an inclusive play area to stimulate all 5 senses for full multi-sensory learning. An easy way to provide the whole range of benefits of sensory play in areas with limited space is with an outdoor sensory wall.
When designing a sensory wall, it is important to incorporate a range of tactile and visual elements to excite and capture the imaginations of your students. This can be as simple or complicated as you want, putting your own unique spin on a sensory wall design to suit your students is a great way to engage them, but we recommend you incorporate these key elements when deciding to install a sensory wall.
Fun Mirror Panels to Engage Visual Exploration
Window and Mirror Panels come in a wide variety of designs and sizes to create a unique visual experience for kids. From mirror windows for children’s face to bendy mirrors to distorting mirrors, each of these panels tells a unique story with a distinct theme to engage your students.
These simple play panels provide a space for self-expression and help build children’s understandings of themselves and the world around them. Using polycarbonate translucent windows and reflective mirrors and domes, these panels are virtually unbreakable and don’t rust or fade as much as metallic mirrors, making them the perfect addition to your sensory play corner. Kids can make up their own games and have inventive, creative fun with these unique visual sensory play features.
Tactile Sensory Panels with a Range of Games and Learning Elements
As kids get older, a multi-sensory learning experience remains important to stimulate imaginative, creative ideas. All kids fiddle and play with sensory learning toys in tactile play, directing these impulses towards play panels specially designed to benefit fine motor skills while stimulating other educational benefits is a great way to take advantage of this.
The majority of our play panel options have tactile elements, these include:
– Mark-making components
– String weaving
Incorporating tactile elements to any form of educational or creative play panel allows for fine motor skills and sensory stimulation to be included as an extra benefit alongside fun or learning.
High quality, colourful HDPE play panels used for our panels include embossed elements for visually impaired students to identify shapes and play games as well as easy to understand instructions with clear interactive and collaborative elements.
Kid’s Water Wall Features
Interactive water play walls are a unique element of an outdoor sensory wall feature for older kids to engage in unique tactile games. Experimenting with water as it travels down pipes at different angles is great messy play fun that doesn’t leave anything to clean up.
Kids can work together to angle the guttering pipes on the wall without spilling or learn about gravity as table tennis balls float down the different channels. A large collaborative sensory play wall that involves bigger picture thinking and understanding of the world is a great way to encourage healthy play and imagination on the playground.
Musical Play Panels for kids to Rock out together
Our new ranges of musical play panels truly incorporate sensory interaction for dynamic sound creation. The best way to inspire music and creation is by combining different types of outdoor musical instrument and play panel feature for kids to come together and play together.
Freestanding musical play walls can be combined for unique music set compositions (pun intended!) with percussion, chimes, rotating drums and electronic play panels. Each of these elements add to an ensemble to engage different forms of sensory stimulation and musical education; understanding scales, relaying tunes, and identifying songs, as well as being just plain fun!
Build your Ideal Sensory Play Wall with The School Playground Company
If your school playground could benefit from exploring different forms of sensory play, you can contact our experts and start your play area journey with us. Simply fill in our contact form for a call back to discuss your options or request a Free Quick Quote by clicking the contact button at the top of the page.