This article is in partnership with The Accidental Toy Makers. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Do you constantly find yourself telling your child “no”? “No, don’t pull on the plugin” “No, stop pushing the TV buttons” “Don’t mess with that lock”. Children are constantly trying to challenge themselves to improve all of their developmental skills. They are also watching everything we do. It only makes sense they would want to do all of the tasks that we, as adults, do. It is important to provide these opportunities to our infants/toddlers in a safe way. A sensory board is an incredible tool to redirect young children to a controlled activity that helps their overall development.
What is a Sensory Board
A sensory board is a board filled with tactile and visual objects to be explored by early childhood level children. They encourage stimulation of the senses and exploration through sensory play. Occupational therapists often use them to help children with sensory processing disorders.
Would your baby love a sensory board? Take this 1 min survey from The Accidental Toymakers and watch a video of their baby playing with hers from 7-19 months.
10 Benefits of Sensory Boards
1. Stimulates the Senses
Sensory stimulation is essential to early childhood development. All sensory boards focus on the sense of touch, but can incorporate all of the senses.
2. Develops Fine Motor Skills
Fine motor skills use any movement of the small muscles in the hands, wrists and fingers. While playing with a sensory board a child will engage all of the muscles in their hands through touching, pinching, and grasping objects.
3. Promotes Independent Play
Children will spend time at a sensory board working on learning many new skills.
4. Stress Relieving Activity and Lowers Anxiety
Fine motor activities have been proven to lower stress and anxiety. It is a calm activity that forces a child to focus on what they are doing.
5. Encourages Curiosity and Investigative Skills
Many objects on a sensory board are new to a child, with this they are able to explore and master new skills.
6. Develops Hand Eye Coordination
Hand eye coordination allows the eyes to send important signals to the brain about hand movement. Every object on a sensory board helps build those signals as a child reaches and grabs.
7. Encourages a Sense of Self
Through new feels and textures young children begin to develop preferences for what they like best.
8. Teaches Cause and Effect
When a child pulls the lock off of the door it can be opened and when the lock is put back on the door it will no longer open.
9. Encourages Language Development
Babies learn the names of the new objects they are touching along with the names of colors and textures.
10. Allows Babies to Use “Adult Objects” in a Safe Way
Children want to do what they see adults do. Sensory boards provide them with a safe place to explore these skills they regularly wouldn’t be allowed to.
How to Find a Trustworthy Sensory Board
It can be extremely difficult to locate a sensory board that is high quality. A good sensory board has a calming feel and provides objects that your child will come into contact with in real life. The majority of sensory boards on the market today are cluttered with obnoxious toys. A lot of people try to build their own but they all tend to follow the same pattern of over stimulation due to crowding and intense coloring.
The Accidental Toy Makers have solved all of these issues. After receiving many requests, the US based family has created the ideal sensory board. Their sensory board (launching on Kickstarter later this month) is made from gorgeous wood and coated with a non toxic water based finish. The completed 3D model is available for viewing on their Instagram page.
The sensory board has a clean look that will work in any playroom, classroom, or office. Each object is evenly dispersed throughout the board with room for the objects to move around as needed. One of the coolest features of this board is that it is wired with a functioning light/light switch and fan/fan switch.
The Accidental Toy Makers want to hear from you. Take their 1 minute survey on sensory boards and they will send you a $30 off coupon to use on opening day!
9 comments / Add your comment below
We absolutely love doing sensory boards over here! My kiddo has so much fun doing them and she is learning so much through play.
They are a great teaching tool!
This looks so cool! I was a nanny in college and I think a lot of the kids I used to watch would have definitely enjoyed these in their homes.
I was a nanny in college too! I completely agree. The families I used to work for would love these!
Sounds like a great product for toddlers. And fun for them too!
Such a great activity for toddlers! And I love that it can use bits and pieces you have on hand!
My kids love sensory boards. They especially love any that include water!
Such a good idea and good to know for the future!
These sensory boards look so interactive. What a great way for little ones to work on their fine motor skills and problem solving!