Line marking can be used in a variety of settings and the development of sensory paths for children is definitely one of the most exciting.
What is a sensory path?
Sensory paths are colourful, interactive trails which guide children from one site to another and promote different types of activities or movement. They can be created indoors or outdoors. To the casual observer, they may look like artwork in a school hallway or another form of playground equipment in a neighbourhood park or school playground. However, teachers and researchers know that sensory paths are much more than this.
What do sensory paths achieve?
Essentially, sensory paths help children build sensory pathways in their brains. These are the connections in the brain which control the senses, such as touch, sight and sound, and which help children develop important motor-skills they will use throughout their lives, such as hand-eye coordination, spatial skills and balance. As a result, sensory paths can be extremely beneficial for younger children and pre-schoolers as they grow.
There is also considerable research to show that sensory paths can assist school-aged children to concentrate more in the classroom, as well as make their school day more interesting and enjoyable. Teachers have found that sensory paths help children burn up their excess energy. After children spend time on a sensory path, they can then go back to the classroom again with more focus.
The use of sensory paths can also reduce stress for some children as they provide a distraction from their day and assist them with dealing and managing different emotions. Undertaking activities on a sensory path with their school peers has the added benefits of encouraging socialisation and problem-solving skills amongst children.
Where is the best place to set up a sensory path?
Sensory paths can be installed almost anywhere it is safe for children to play. In indoor areas they can be added to school hallways and common areas. In outside areas they can be a great addition to a schoolyard and can spruce up an older playground.
What are sensory paths made from?
Sensory paths can be made from a range of materials. In indoor areas, decal stickers can be purchased for walls and hallways. In outdoor areas, sensory paths can be constructed using playground or line markings in vibrant colours that offer a range of innovative games and activities. They can also extend to designs that include pebbles, shells, tiles, gardens, mosaics and wet pour rubber in vivid colours. Basically, sensory paths can be made from almost anything – as long as the materials are safe for children to engage with.