We have 8 senses, not just 5!

Is your child over stimulated or under stimulated? Here are some ways to understand how our senses work and what we can do practically as parents!

1) Understand the importance of early childhood development through multisensory learning

What Is Multisensory Learning? Multisensory learning means learning through more than one sensory system at the same time.

Through Auditory (Hearing), Visual (Sight), Tactile (Touch) and Kinesthetic (Body Movement) activities, our brain picks up information from our surroundings. The information is processed and a response is generated. 


Engaging more than one sense at a time, for example the use of visual, auditory and kinesthetic-tactile pathways can enhance memory and ability to learn.

As such, classrooms now advocate multisensory learning which provides opportunities for enhancing thinking skills. 

2) Know that we have 8 senses, not just 5!

The eight sensory system gives the brain information about our body and the world around us.  

1. Sight/Visual – This sense helps interpret what we see and make sense of non-verbal cues and track movement with our eyes to ensure we move safely.

2. Sound/Auditory – This sense helps us interpret what we hear and the frequency of a particular noise or noises, and it leads us to understand speech.

3. Touch/Tactile – Our sense of touch helps us respond to physical stimuli through the receptors of our skin, to determine between “safe” and “dangerous” touch. 

4. Taste/Gustatory – The purpose of taste helps one to identify their food preferences or to determine what foods are dangerous or to stay away from.

5. Smell/Olfactory – The sense of smell is connected to our memories and emotions. An input of smell could cause one to feel comfort or alarm, depending on the smell.

6. Body Movements/Vestibular System – The vestibular system functions help the body to maintain balance and be aware of where we are in space. This system works with auditory and visual processing in relation to balance, attention, eye control, and coordination.

7. Body Awareness/Proprioception – Proprioception is very similar to the vestibular system, but it refers more to how we interpret the relationship and energy between each individual body part, such as muscles and joints. 

8. Introception – This 8th sense reflects the extent to which a person is attentive to understanding the needs, motives, and experiences of himself or herself and others.

By understanding this, parents can understand their children better by asking their child to describe their thoughts and feelings through their senses. .

E.g. Asking your child if they feel any pain, discomfort, tenseness in their body will help your child to discover what is going on internally and how they can appropriately respond or use extra input.


3) Know that Sensory experiences are so powerful that they can ‘rewire’ the brain

We have heard stories of countless parents who have said they would not let their children start on the mobile, only to give in before the child is even 3 years old.

Although we advocate digitalisation in today’s context, it is important to know that there are evidence that excessive screen time early in life can change the circuits in a growing brain.


Stay tuned to our next article to learn more about the effects of screen-time on our children!

Till then, stay observant and be aware of how your child is adapting in all 8 areas of their senses and be sure you’re tackling not just some, but all of them.

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