Sense Experiences for Trainees

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The sensory stimulation session should be designed so that trainees can feel and experience awareness of and pleasure form their own sense systems. This will help them to understand the important role of a caregiver in providing input and stimulation in order that babies also may experience such sensory pleasures and learn about the sounds and sights, colors and cuddles, sweets and sours of life.

At first, stage each new sense experience so that one special sense is stimulated predominantly. After a while combine sensation experiences. For example, at first, each of you can: pour warm water or sand through fingers; hear songs or sounds; smell vinegar or cinnamon; have warm air blown on wrists; be rubbed on the arm with fur or a toothbrush; have someone take your hand and move your open palm and fingers around the edges of a block, on a velvet cloth, or down the ridges of a washboard while  your eyes are closed. Foe each sensory stimulation situation you stage with the trainees or model for them, ask them to describe what they feel and experience and which sense system is most actively involved in each episode. Later, as you turn to each new set of sensory materials, ask the trainees to tell you which sense system will be primarily involved before you set about exploring the stimulation potentialities of the materials.

The chapter on Piagetian concepts of infant development also provides examples of games and tasks a caregiver can use to promote infant sensori-motor development. You may wish to use some of those examples for further sensitizing the trainees to the sensory enrichment potentialities of day care experiences.

Ask Dr. Susan