Most of us are familiar with the five senses – sight, smell, touch, hearing, and taste. Our human senses help us to take in information, make sense of what is going on around us, and react to sensory information. Our senses impact how we perceive the world and everything we do!
But did you know that we actually have 8 senses?
In addition to the five common sensory systems, there are three more:
- Vestibular System
- Proprioception System
- Interoception System
These lesser-known senses are just as important as the others so we’re going to give them a little love here on our blog.
The vestibular system is the sensory system that helps with our body’s sense of balance and spatial orientation. Our vestibular system helps us to balance and move at the same time.
So when we walk, summersault, or spin around, we have our vestibular system to thank!
That’s not all. The vestibular system also improves our visual tracking, hand-eye coordination, and supports language development by integrating with our sight and hearing (visual and auditory senses), so it is a key sensory system activated in school.
Think about reading, writing, sitting in a chair, and watching a teacher’s presentation while taking notes.
According to an article by occupational therapist, Tiffany Heaney, “The Vestibular sense is crucial for a child’s development because it enables a child to feel secure and confident in their body, so they can move, learn and play.”
Our proprioception system tells us where were spatially and how we are positioned compared to the environment we are in. It is our external awareness. Are we facing up or down? Are we close to the door, far away, or about to run into it?
That’s one important sensory system!
In the same way that proprioception is our external awareness, the interoception sensory system is our body’s internal awareness. It tells us things that are important about ourselves like if we are hungry, thirsty, cold, or hot.
These are important cues to keep our body comfortable, balanced, and running effectively. Young children need to learn these internal cues to understand how to properly care for and listen to their bodies.
Say thanks to your interoception system when you feel tired and know to go to sleep or feel anxious and know to take deep breaths or go for a walk.
Knowing and understanding our amazing 8 senses is an important first step at Kids 360°. We take this understanding of the senses and use it in combination with intentional movements to achieve sensory motor integration.
We know that aligning motor movements with a specific learning goal in mind develops strong and coordinated bodies that get the brain ready to learn. The movement strengthens these processing centers of our brains! For our earliest learners, this development is foundational to learning. (See our intentional movement blog here)
Just as learning our ABCs and 123s is important, it is our responsibility to prepare preschoolers’ bodies to properly process the many senses they experience. It’s all about setting kids up for success!
See how kids explore and develop all 8 senses at Kids 360° Early Learning Academy by scheduling a tour or attending our next open house.