When I began to create the sensory boxes and recommend their use from the age of 3, I realized that the youngest children (0 to 3 years old) were excluded from my proposal. From that moment on, I started to think about what I could create for them, to help them be stimulated and I thought about starting to learn more about the sensory bottles and their benefits.
I already knew about these bottles because of my experience working with children with autism, where many times we used this tool to help the child in self-regulation, to help them out of a crisis or to promote calm and relaxation after a stressful activity.
As I began to inform myself and read more in-depth about the subject, I found a lot of benefits that these bottles provide to all children, but especially to the youngest ones.
So..What is a Sensory Bottle?
They consist of a jar or bottle that is filled with different materials generating a variety of sensations and stimulating different areas when the child moves it.
They can be filled with liquid or not, I particularly like those that contain liquid because they generate a very relaxing and attractive effect when moved. Other components can be added to the water so that the effect of falling objects is slower (it can be baby oil, glue, glycerine).
You can also have objects that make noises, objects of different sizes and textures and different colors so that the child can identify them when moving the bottle.
At Sensory Toys Box we have themed bottles, that is, each one represents and has materials according to a specific theme (e.g. Christmas, Valentine's Day, Winter) which becomes an excellent gift option to, and creates the opportunity to learn and go deeper with the child in a specific theme.
What are the benefits of Sensory Bottles?
Motor: the child must manipulate the bottle, exercising the muscles of the hand and arm and stimulating fine and gross motor coordination (turning, shaking, rotating). It is very important to stimulate the motor skills of the youngest children. Motor activities contribute to the proper physical, emotional and social development of people, and are especially important in childhood. They allow the child to have control of his own body, to be encouraged to explore and discover the environment, to get to know himself, to express himself freely, to interact with others more adaptively, with greater control and care of his body and that of his companion (an aspect of great importance for social interaction).
Attention: The child identifies the different objects in the bottle, focuses on one or another, follows them with his eyes as they go up and down. By focusing on this activity and being present, they set aside other concerns or stimuli that can produce tension or alter them (e.g. screens, adult meetings). This ability to focus on an activity and leave other stimuli aside will be adaptive to their life, they will need it in the kindergarten, at school, when doing homework, etc.
Stimulate their curiosity, interest, and desire to explore: The moments of greatest learning for the child are moments of motivation, where the child finds himself with great interest in discovering what is presented to him. These bottles promote curiosity, interest, and invite the child to come closer, the main step for him/her to learn through this game.
Emotional regulation: These bottles are an excellent tool to promote relaxation, attract positive emotions in the child and provide a moment of enjoyment to relieve their tensions. A good time to use it can be after some period of distress when arriving tired from the daycare or before going to sleep. It is important as parents to provide a calm environment when using the bottle; this can be playing quiet music, dimming the lights, turning off the television.
Sensory skills: Sense of sight is stimulated through visual following of different objects and colors, sense of sound is stimulated through materials that produce different noises, and sense of touch is stimulated by turning, twisting, shaking and squeezing the bottle.
Early stimulation is extremely important for later development!
From birth, our brain requires information to help it develop. The quantity and quality of learning acquired in the early years influence the development of motor, cognitive, linguistic and social skills that are extremely important for the future. Therefore, we must not forget to give the little ones time and quality play.