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Where Critical Thinking Begins

Sensory Learning

First and foremost, the senses are a common language we all share. If you think about it, all societies and cultures are built on the tacit agreement of what things are and what they are called. That’s probably why so much of early learning and all of early language acquisition centers around identifying people, places and things – the tangibles in our world that children can understand through their physical and sensory experiences.

 

But more than just knowing the names of things, the senses hold the key to significant advancements in your child’s cognitive processing.

 

Learning How to Analyze & Reason

Children come to understand things by connecting new ideas with what they already know. For instance, raspberries (new) are like strawberries (known). Both are small, red, juicy, and sweet. These sensory similarities give the brain clues to understanding the new information and decide what to do about it. If you like strawberries, you may want to try raspberries.

 

As simple as that sounds, CLASSIFICATION is an essential critical reasoning skill that comes in handy all day, every day. For instance, ask your child, ”Please, put your toys away.”  If your child doesn’t understand that their dolls and their blocks are both “toys,” they will not understand your request. 

And that’s just the beginning. Take a look at our infographic (below) and you’ll see how critical thinking and reasoning develops all throughout the early years with the help of the senses... and you.

 

What You Can Do

When it comes to sensory learning, there’s one thing you can do that their senses can not. You can add the LANGUAGE they need to begin piecing together what they’re seeing, hearing, and feeling with the words they will eventually come to know. It’s a simple formula: Experience (child) + Language (you) = Understanding.

 

So as you play together, remember you’re the narrator. Use rich, descriptive language relating to everything they're experiencing so that one day, seemingly out of the blue, they'll find the words for themselves. 

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The Origins of Thinking

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The Quest Chest

A Sensory Treasure Hunt

Turn your next treasure hunt adventure into a thrill for the senses!

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Why kids can't pay attention. LEARN MORE...

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The benefits of Messy Play. LEARN MORE...

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How The Senses help the brain learn to think.

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And there's more...

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