The development of sensory skills plays a key role in nurturing a child’s overall learning and growth. Observing things, hearing them, touching them, smelling and tasting them allows a child to explore the world around them and interact with it. Therefore, a child’s environment should be such that encourages them to engage their senses purposefully and actively and thus embark on the journey of cognitive, emotional and physical development.

Children should be offered a variety of experiences to engage all senses. We should include textures, smells, sounds, tastes and sights. However, that does not mean we should overwhelm the environment with experiences, but rather rotate a few select materials.

The use of natural materials, such as wood, metal and fabrics, appeals to a child’s sense of touch. When children touch different textures, they heighten their perception and comprehension of the world around them. As Maria Montessori said: “The hands are the instruments of the mind.”

Simple and natural toys are beautiful and connect children with the natural world. They are silent and open-ended, encouraging imagination, creativity and curiosity. Children can use them in a variety of ways, while toys themselves don’t tell kids how to play with them.

Today’s high-tech toys are designed to distract children. They are often noisy and flashy and overstimulate kids. A simple wooden toy, on the other hand, allows children time and space to explore the toy thoroughly and carefully without any interruptions. If you ask us, simple toys made of natural materials are always a better choice.