• Playground Design and Build Specialists

16/12/19 Blog

The Five Senses: The Significance of Sensory Play

The Benefits of Sensory Play

From birth to early childhood, children utilise their five senses to help them understand the big wide world around them. Newby Leisure recognises the benefit of sensory play equipment in our playground design. 

Look, listen, touch, taste and smell are often taken for granted. Yet these senses are pivotal to learning complex tasks. Sensory play helps children to build skills in cognitive growth, fine and gross motor skills, problem-solving, social and language development. 

Through sensory play children develop independent and creative thinking; that enriches their imagination and cognitive capabilities. Newby Leisure understands the importance of sensory play, designing and manufacturing their natural timber resources to aid sensory development. Our aim is to supply educational and sensory equipment in their playground design to encourage natural play. Newby Leisure prides ourselves on providing quality outdoor provisions to teachers and schools throughout the UK. 


So what is sensory play and how does it benefit your child? 

Sensory Play - includes activity that arouses and enhances children’s senses. These senses include touch, taste, smell, movement, sight, hearing and balance. 


Similar to adults, children learn and retain important information by using their senses. During sensory play, children are encouraged to use scientific exploration to investigate and solve problems as they play. As a result, they absorb sensory information which helps prompt brain development. Subsequently, their brain creates stronger connections that allow children to process and respond to sensory information whilst they play. 


For all the fussy eaters out there. Sensory Play could be the solution! 

It can help children get used to ‘strange’ textures that put them off eating certain foods. Playing with these foods using touch, taste and smell in a safe environment can encourage a child to eat those difficult foods. Thus, children begin to develop trust and gain a better understanding of those ‘strange’ textures. The brain then starts to make positive associations - sending signals that its safe to engage with this food.  


Sensory play literally shapes the brain and can ultimately impact future behaviour and decision making. 


Here are the Key Benefits of Sensory Play: 

The benefits of sensory play


Brain Development and Cognitive Growth 

Sensory play strengthens brain development and enhances memory functions. It helps to build nerve connections in the brain’s pathways; that enhance thought processes, understanding and reasoning. 

Language Development

Sensory play helps young children to learn how to talk about the world in new ways. Thus, they develop language skills that help them to communicate much more effectively with their peers.

Fine-tuning motor skills 

Children identify objects by touch during tactile sensory play. Experiencing a variety of textures help them to develop fine and gross motor skills - pulling, pushing, squeezing and throwing. 

Awareness and Adaptability 

Active sensory play exposes children to new situations. This process allows them to become more self and body awareness, helping them to understand spacial awareness. As a result, children can adapt to new situations with ease. 

Problem Solving Skills 

Experimenting with different objects during sensory play helps children develop decision-making skills. They begin to find solutions to obstacles they encounter during sensory activity– such as how to climb or build. 


Newby Leisure’s Natural and Sensory Play Equipment 

Coloured Teepee (SKU: NLCOM-111)


Newby Leisure’s Coloured Teepee is perfect for storytelling and role play. The sensory and visually stimulating red and blue Lexan windows help calm and reduce anxiety in children. The unique triangular structure allows them to unwind and read their favourite book in peace. 

Coloured Teepee



Real Mini Bricks (SKU: NLCOM-107)


Build away! Newby Leisure’s Real mini bricks are a sensory necessity. They allow children to build skills in problem-solving, numerical skills and cognitive growth. Research has shown that sensory play build’s up nerve connections in the brain’s pathways. Thus, aid a child’s ability to complete complicated tasks. Additionally, children learn to negotiate with their peers by discussing solutions as they build imaginary constructions together. It’s a win-win, hours of sensory play and your child is on their way to becoming the next mastermind. 

Real Mini Bricks



Outdoor Digging Box (SKU:NLCOM-116)


Dig in! Newby Leisure’s four-compartment Outdoor Digging Box offer’s endless hours of sensory play. The digging box has been designed for children to experience and learn about different textures - sand, bark, soil and stone. The Outdoor Digging Box encourages children to interact with each other sharing ideas and developing new relationships between each other. As a result, they expand on their language skills through social interaction and evolve fine and gross motor skills by handling different textured materials.

Outdoor Digging Box


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