How does PODS interact with the sense and encourage multisensory learning and play?
The senses play a huge part in all of our daily lives. We find comfort and security in familiar smells and sounds, whilst new and exciting sensory experiences can contribute to our longest lasting memories. Amongst babies, toddlers, and children, however, the senses are a gateway to understanding and interpreting the world and multisensory experiences can be the most beneficial. But what exactly is multisensory learning, how does this contribute to children’s learning and how does our product fit into this category? Nemours BrightStart! describes multisensory learning as learning that “involves two or more of the senses within the same activity.”
Children are very similar to adults in the way they take in information about the world and their surroundings. From a very early age, children’s learning and memories can stem from stimulus that is:
- Visual (using the eyes/sight)
- Auditory (using the ears/sound)
- Tactile (using the hands and body/touch)
- Odor-evoked (using smell)
- Kinesthetic (using body movements)
BrightStart! continues to explain: “When young children use multiple senses to process new information, they learn by doing what they do best – investigating, exploring and discovering. For this reason, Nemours BrightStart! believes that the best way for children to learn is to allow them to: See it! Hear it! Do it! And Touch it!” And we agree! So, how exactly do our PODS involve two or more of the senses?
The most obvious of all the senses that is present in PODS, is sight. As well as being aesthetically striking with integrated lighting that illuminates the structure, the colourful themes inspire creativity and stimulate the imagination. Completely interchangeable, the themed graphics can be transformed in minutes: one day you may be on a galactic adventure, the next you may be exploring on a sub aqua quest
Dacher Keltner of the University of California, Berkeley, writes that “In recent years, a wave of studies has documented some incredible emotional and physical health benefits that come from touch. This research is suggesting that touch a truly fundamental to human communication, bonding, and health.” The core structure of our PODS is an environmentally friendly, flame retardant nylon; a soft textured material with colourful graphics that encourage exploration with the hands as well as the eyes. Thus, encouraging tactile learning.
The newest aspect of our PODS offering is our learning resources; a collection of free guided short stories available to parents, carers, teachers and anyone who is interested in sharing some quality reading time with their little ones, soon to be released. Designed around the themes of the PODS, guided reading can help create a completely immersive experience and encourage interaction with the POD’s graphics.
Whilst PODS is an effective space for sitting and reading a book, the dimensions of PODS allow for children’s movement and exploration. Sitting, standing, moving around, playing games, exercising… There is much to see and do within the PODS environment. The opportunities are endless!
Familiarity can be a useful and reassuring tool to those with sensory needs. PODS can become a designated fixture of the home environment, becoming an emblem of learning, play or relaxation. As PODS are completely portable, this familiar and calming space (including all of the scents that accompany the home) can assist in settling panic or anxiety whilst on the move.
The main premise of PODS as a product is the provision of a sensory environment that encourages learning and play, but why stop at one? Our PODS interact with multiple senses all at once to become a multisensory haven.