From birth through childhood, children use their senses to explore and try to make sense of the world around them. They do this by touching, tasting, smelling, seeing, moving and hearing.

Last month, at  Zoe’s Place the new Mother’s Support Group learned about sensory play in a workshop session facilitated by a specialist from New Jersey Intervention System (http://www.njeis.org). Sensory Play plays an important role in a child’s development. It allows them to refine their thresholds for different sensory information, helping their brain to create stronger connections to process and respond to sensory information. During the workshop the new mothers created sensory boards at age-specific levels for their children.

The sensory boards used a combination of colorful, textured and child-safe objects to encourage sensory play. The session provided an opportunity for them to explore the benefits of sensory play and create something fun for their children.

The new mothers support group is co-facillitated by Yvelisse Gonzalez, Perinatal Mental Health Coordinator, Partnership for Maternal and Child Health of Northern New Jersey, Jenny Stratton, Children’s Aid & Family Services’ Lewis Hine Fellow, and a peer mentor past resident of Zoe’s Place.

For more information about the group at Zoe’s place visit: http://cafsnj.org/what-we-do/family-community-services/