Neuro Play: Where Play and Learning Converge in a World of Senses

Neuro Play: Where Play and Learning Converge in a World of Senses

By Aya

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Welcome to an exclusive interview with Islam, the visionary founder of Neuro Play, a pioneering brand dedicated to providing safe, natural, and premium handmade sensory products for children. At Neuro Play, the focus isn’t just on play; it’s about enhancing learning through tailored sensory experiences. With products scented using pure essential oils, Neuro Play aims to create an environment that promotes calmness, focus, and ignites the senses to support overall learning and development in children.

Join us as we delve into the inspiration behind Neuro Play, its journey from concept to reality, and the profound impact it’s making on children’s lives. Islam will share insights into the importance of sensory experiences in childhood development, the meticulous process behind crafting each product, and the vision for the future of Neuro Play. Let’s uncover the story behind this innovative approach to childhood learning and well-being.

1. What inspired you to start Neuro Play and focus on providing sensory products for children?
My inspiration to start neuro play was when I had my daughter and decided to stay at home with her instead of going back to teaching at schools. Being in Dubai I realized that there is an opportunity to share what I have learnt through my experience with teaching children. I wanted to create a community rather than a business on its own as I aim to also guide parents in supporting their child’s sensory developmental sensory needs.

2. How do you ensure that your products are safe and natural for children to use?
Throughout my experience working with SEN and mainstream students I have always made my own materials in class; therefore, I did and still do a lot of research on how to maximize the shelf life of my products naturally additionally I ask my sister as she works in culinary. I also use eco glitter and all our packaging is either biodegradable or recyclable.

3. Can you explain the importance of sensory experiences in a child’s learning and development?
Sensory play whether it’s through my products or activities that care givers make for the children are the fundamental foundation to their overall healthy development. When children are in control and fully involved in the learning experience, they learn problem solving, language, speech, gross motor, fine motor skills and much more. Scientifically proven that when we engage in any sort of hands-on activity, we produce Serotonin which is one of the “happy hormones” it calms, balances and builds true confidence within oneself.

4. What led you to incorporate pure essential oils into your products?
I make sure that most of my products are scented because it plays a big role in development. Smells create memories and therefore it engraves the learning in the brain. As soon as they smell that scent their memory will bring them back to the activity, similarly with music.

5. Could you share some examples of how sensory experiences can enhance memory, motor skills, language, and imagination in children?
Let’s take our potion play set as an example of how it provides more than one learning opportunity. When children know that there is no end result that is expected from them, they are more open to exploring freely. Potion play supports motor skills with the need to use the spoon, pouring the water, mixing and adding more. With speech ang language it supports imaginative thinking and new vocabulary where they tell you a story or explaining what they are making to you, describing what they see, bubbles, fizzing, shimmer, colour changes and smells. It also teaches them basics of chemistry as they figure out how much to put and mix with water to create the reaction. open ended activities such as potion play, playdough, creative work, messy play all create confidence in children as they are submerged in the process while there is no pressure felt. Every time a child repeats an activity, they learn something new and they get the opportunity to evolve with their thinking and problem solving skills.

6. What challenges did you face when starting Neuro Play, and how did you overcome them?
The main challenges I faced at the beginning was being new to Dubai and not knowing where to find the raw materials for making my products. With time and research, I found the places where I can get the best quality raw materials.

7. How do you choose the scents for your products, and what considerations do you take into account?
The scents I choose must be either pure essential oils or skin safe oils which are not “hot oils”. I have very sensitive skin and I test them on myself first, once there is no irritation my daughter then gets to try it out. I don’t make products that I would not give my own child. As a mother and teacher, I make sure that I research properly and also make sure that my customers know what ingredients are in the products by listing them on our website. I take into consideration allergies to natural ingredients that’s why we don’t use coconut oil, actual fruit or vegetable extracts as they may cause skin allergies.

I also state that I use wheat flour so that a child with a gluten allergy is aware they need to wash their hands thoroughly after playing with the playdough.

8. In what ways do you think Neuro Play products contribute to a child’s overall well-being?
Neuro Play is not just a business providing products rather it’s an overall community that encourage, teach and gets the parents hands on with their children. We are always open to supporting and answering questions about what the child needs according to their age and the pace of learning even if that person is purchasing from us or not. We are building a foundation of learning for the next generation to come, where they will have balance between tech and sensory to boost their confidence which will in return translate into an all-rounded child.

9. What feedback have you received from parents and children who have used your products?
At the beginning of our journey a lot of parents where hesitant because they didn’t understand the benefits of sensory play which can often be messy. We did a few workshops where the parents were able to experience the different sensory textures in a controlled environment which meant they had the opportunity to observe their child’s developmental needs and what they were interested in. With time parents have grown to love and trust our products for their children.

10. Can you tell us about any future plans or developments for Neuro Play?
Our future plans are to expand the business in different areas which includes building communities, product development, and getting our stock in stores and educational centres.

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