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THE 5 SENSES: WHEN AND HOW THEY DEVELOP IN CHILDREN

05/05/2021

THE 5 SENSES: WHEN AND HOW THEY DEVELOP IN CHILDREN

Senses are the means by which people explore the world and this also applies to children. Thanks to these senses, they discover objects, people and spaces in the home. To nurture their curiosity, games can be used as the best way to learn. In order to understand how to help your own children and what activities to do, you must first understand when these senses are enhanced and how they are used. 

The five senses already develop in the mother's womb. the first is touch and this develops around the seventh week. Babies' skin has three levels of sensitivity: tactile, technical and pain. While tactile and pain are tested, however slightly, in the placenta, the technical one, the one that senses temperatures, only develops after birth. All these levels of skin sensitivity will then be used by the baby as they develop.

The second sense to develop is taste. Already around the thirteenth week, children stick out their tongues to taste the environment in which they are immersed. When they are born, they feed on their mother's milk because they recognise the taste and know that it is pleasant for them. The sense of smell works in the same way. Children can recognise their mother's smell because they are enveloped in it, and when they are held for the first time, the smell is so familiar that they can distinguish their mother from other women.

The last two senses are hearing and sight. Specifically, hearing, even though it is one of the last senses to develop, is already complete at birth and used even afterwards. Sight, on the other hand, will improve with time. The baby's eyes are closed until the 23rd week and after that everything is blurred. At birth a baby is unable to distinguish people or objects but is very attracted to faces, black and white contrasts, strong colours and moving figures. 

To help them develop these innate senses, some age-appropriate play activities can be used. Here are some tips for growing together with your child. 

Right from the very beginning babies will try to experience things by putting everything they come across into their mouths. Together with touch, in fact, this is the only other way they can understand what they have around them. Around three months, however, you can start to stimulate hearing. You can use socks with bells, which make a noise with every movement, and toys or soft toys with rattles. 

When it starts to become clear what they have around them and they also start to move by themselves, then you can start to focus on touch. A fun activity is to use paint, choosing non-toxic ones, to create drawings. You can try colouring their hands and helping them leave their fingerprints on sheets and cards. This way they will also be able to see the different colours and come into contact with the shapes. However, the relationship with shapes and colours will develop later, around the age of three, when they will finally be able to distinguish them. Stories and nursery rhymes are two very useful tools to develop learning, also at the mnemonic level .Dress your baby in clothes with different colours depending on the day and create little stories around this habit. 

Playing has always been one of the most powerful tools for teaching children about the good things in life but also about the dangers. Of course, they will learn many things on their own as they wander around the house or play with family and friends, but they will discover many others with the help of their parents. Of course, every stage of development has its own discoveries, so mum and dad just have to follow their children and explore with them.

 

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