"Brain-wave tests show that looking at complex, repetitive patterns called fractals has the same effect as meditating. In a forest, you will find fractal patterns everywhere; in the branching ferns and trees. in gnarled roots, in intersecting streams and waterfalls, in fluffy clouds. It's called "effortless looking" and it happens subconsciously.
Those fractal patterns pour into our brains and relax us completely."
- Richard Taylor, PHD. Head of The Physics Department at University of Oregon
WHAT IS SENSORY PLAY?
Sensory play is any variety of activities and play scenarios that stimulates your child's senses: touch, smell, taste, movement, balance, sight and hearing.
Ideally, any one activity will invigorate multiple senses at one time.
Sensory activities inspire exploration and naturally spur children to use scientific processes while they play, create, investigate and explore.
When sensory play is a regular part of a child's life, they develop strong nerve connections in the brain, in addition to fine motor and language skills. Many times sensory play involves problem solving and detailed activities which promote mindfulness.
WHY NATURE SENSORY PLAY?
Nature is abundant in sensory richness. All of our senses can easily be stimulated when we are outside, no matter how simple the environment. When we spend time in and with nature we are opening up our minds and bodies to the beauty and abundance that's all around us. It is easy for adults and children to be both relaxed and invigorated at the same time while in natural settings. Simple moments, such as a bright fall leaf falling to the ground or an ant navigating back home, can capture
and increase our attention, while fostering important personal qualities like being observant, patient and empathetic.
The physical challenges that nature presents are awesome. Uneven surfaces, loose ground and elevated objects, to name a few, encourage spatial awareness, balance and agility. Child-led play and interest in the wild help develop resilience, personal boundaries and persistence.
The best moments in childhood are often spent absorbed in nature.
Being physically in nature is the preferred way to spend time. But sometimes, and in the age of Covid more often, we are stuck at home. Being in a house doesn't mean that the benefits of nature are lost to us. We simply need to find creative ways to bring the outdoors inside.
One tried and true way is to curate a nature collection. For children, who may be experiencing record rates of anxiety with the current state of the world, having a collection of nature treasures with complex, repetitive patterns (fractals) may prove to be very calming.
Items such as pine cones, bark chips and sea shells all have these fractals in abundance. What's more, they can be held in the palm of a hand or placed on a shelf in their room to gaze at while feeling cozy at home. So simple and made easy,
no matter where you live, with Play Town's Nature Treasures Sensory Bins.