Sensory Benefits Pool Play

This post is brought to us by our guest blogger Dayna at Lemon Lime Adventures.

It’s that time of year again. The sun is shining, the temperatures are rising and the kids are starting to stir. What could be a better summer activity than Pool Play? We all know how fun sand play can be, but did you know the sensory benefits that can be found from a day at the pool with your favorite pool toys?

I am over at Lemon Lime Adventures today, sharing…

10 Sensational Pool Play Ideas. Click to read the full posts.

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Sensory Benefits of Pool Play Melissa and Doug

Summer is a time when everyone wants to be out side and at the pool. Most kids want to splash around and cool off as the temperatures rise. From swimming laps to performing cannon balls, swimming can be an excellent way to incorporate sensory input into your summer play!

A child receives and interprets information through their 7 senses, allowing them to make meaning and organize their world. Without proper sensory integration, children are unable to self regulate, attend to activities, or function like their peers in social situations. That is why, today, I am going to share just a few of sensory benefits of pool play.

Tactile

The tactile sense is responsible for the sense of touch. It allows a child to determine texture, pressure, temperature and pain. It allows us to interpret our world through our hands, our feet, our skin, and our entire body. We interpret EVERYTHING through our tactile system.

The tactile system is required for children to coordinate, organize, discriminate and interpret touch appropriately. Pool play is the perfect place for children to experience textures and temperatures on their body. Whether its allowing water to run through their hands, splashing in the waves, or diving underwater, their tactile sense is in full throttle.

Movement {Vestibular}

The vestibular sense is responsible for the sense of movement. It allows children to feel safe, know their surroundings and move their their surroundings safely.

Pool play can be an excellent source of movement and activity that stimulates the sensory system. The water allows and encourages children to move and shift in a way that they can not do on land. Diving underwater to search for fun and exciting toys, flipping backwards in the water, and even swimming allow children to move through space while increasing the input they are receiving on their bodies.

Even out of the pool, children can receive vestibular input! Through walking, playing relay races, a game of toss, and by climbing in and out of the pool, children are able to center their nervous system and enjoy play at the same time.

Body Awareness {Proprioceptive}

The proprioceptive sense is responsible for our senses of body awareness. It relates to deep pressure and our ability to recognize where we are in the space around us.

Pool play is an excellent source of proprioceptive input, as children dive underwater to get pool toys, kick through the water using a kick board, or simply immerse themselves underwater. Water provides 30x more pressure than air, giving children a full body “squeeze” of proprioceptive input they need to organize and focus their sensory system.

Oral/ Motor

The pool is a natural place for children to receive oral motor stimulation. From blowing bubbles under water to blowing bubbles poolside, there are many opportunities to enhance a child’s use of this sensory system.

Visual/ Motor

The visual sense is responsible, not only for our sight, but for discriminating size, locating objects, and determining importance.

The pool is a great place to develop visual motor skills by playing look and find games and scavenger hunts. To encourage visual motor play, use these fun Taffy Sea Turtles Catch & Hatch Pool Toys.

These are just a few of the many benefits of pool play. Along with tactile, vestibular and proprioceptive sensory benefits, sand play provides opportunities for language development, fine motor development, and creative dramatic play. Not to mention the hours of fun!

For more pool play ideas, don’t forget to hop over to read 10 Sensational Pool Play Ideas on Lemon Lime Adventures.

Related Sensory Resources:

Sensory Benefits of Sports | A Sensory Life Sensory Benefits of Sand Play | Melissa & Doug Sensory Benefits of Gardening with Kids | Lemon Lime Adventures What is Sensory Processing? | Lemon Lime Adventures

Featured Sand Play Materials from Melissa & Doug

Pool Play Toys

Taffy Sea Turtles Catch & Hatch Pool Toy | Spark Shark Football Pool Toy | Spark Shark Toss & Catch Pool Toy

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Headshot-family-150x150Dayna is a National Board Certified teacher with over 12 years of experience in the primary classroom. She recently began homeschooling her 3 children against her will. She writes at Lemon Lime Adventures, where she writes about the trials, successes and errors of their life, life living as a blended family, and dealing with a son with Sensory Processing Disorder. You can find Dayna rockin’ it over on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and G+!

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