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Children develop their understanding of the natural and physical world through sensory exploration.  The sensory centers provide them with opportunities to understand different senses and type of information they gather through these experiences.


Kindergarten classes provide children daily experiences with sand, water, light table and playdough and other media.  These materials are essential for purposeful play.


Sensory centers activities are happy experiences for young children and offer natural mathematics and science learning opportunities.  For many children sensory play can be quite therapeutic and offers a calming effect.


Purposes of Sensory Centers:


  • Contributes to socialization (allows all children to join in and have feelings of accomplishment).
  • Improves visual-motor coordination.
  • Strengthens small muscles.
  • Offers experiences related to understanding numeracy and science concepts such as estimating, measuring, consideration of mass, characteristics of water and other sensory material, size, weight, pressure, shape and displacement.
  • Allows opportunities for imaginative and cooperative play.
  • Calms children.
  • Expands children’s vocabulary through conversation with peers and adults


Adding materials and equipment to these centers is important such as loose parts, sifters, measuring spoons, funnels, rolling pins, scoops, pails, toy animals, small cars, sponge letters, etc.