What Are Sensory Skills?

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Sensory skills are the act of seeing, smelling, touching, tasting and hearing to better engage in daily activities. According to the Public Broadcasting Service, sensory skills are vital to a child's development and help people of all ages perceive their surroundings.

When an individual uses his sensory skills, he can learn how to differentiate between tastes, identify sounds, recognize smells, and see colors and shapes. Sensory skills also help aid with memory, according to the Public Broadcasting Service. A familiar smell can remind someone of a favorite meal, and the sound of a melody can bring about a feeling of nostalgia about the past or previous events and experiences. Sensory skills can be heightened or improved with play and activities that encourage using the five senses. For example, children can learn the true meaning of a word by seeing, touching and smelling the object. The development of sensory skills can also improve fine motor skills within children as they are participating in hand-eye coordination activities that rely on seeing, touching, smelling, hearing and tasting, according to the Public Broadcasting Service. Sensory play also allows a child to develop social and emotional skills, ultimately boosting confidence, intelligence and an understanding of socially acceptable actions.