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Sensory Walk

Updated: Sep 15, 2022

Sensory experiences are an important part of child development, but many sensory activities typically utilize the hands. Our feet are just as sensitive as our hands and this sensory walk allows children the experience of learning, exploring, and feeling with their feet.

To set this up there are numerous ways you can create the walk. You can create sensory boards or in tubs/trays place sensory materials. Pictured here are both trays & wooden boards with packaging, wood bits, pipe cleaners, gem stones, fake grass, sand paper, sea shells, pom poms, furry balls, rocks, ice rocks, and slime sand. You can also do rice, pasta, dried beans, legos, rubber bands, water beads, shaving cream, ice, sand, fabric, foam, slime, or water. Invite the child to take a sensory walk and let them explore, feel, ask questions, talk about textures, and sensory attributes!

Bare feet are important to optimal nervous system and brain development. There are two other sensory systems that are rarely talked about — the proprioceptive system and the vestibular system. Proprioception gives us the ability to perceive the motion and position of our bodies in space, while the vestibular system is responsible for balance and coordination. The development of both of these senses relies heavily on sensory input we receive through bare feet, especially during infancy and childhood. When activated by pressure and movement, nerve endings in the feet called proprioceptors send signals to the brain telling it how the body is oriented. When a child is allowed to be barefoot, their tactile pathways feel the surface of the ground, proprioceptors respond to pressure, and the terrain creates slight imbalances that create neuromuscular strength, spatial orientation, balance, and coordination.

So let them take a walk on the sensory side!

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