Children with sensory processing disorders (SPD) often have a difficult time interacting with the world around them. They may be overly sensitive to certain textures, smells, sounds or sights; this could cause trouble filtering the stimuli out to focus on what the child is doing. Other children may be under sensitive to these same stimuli.
One common trait among children with SPD is that they do not like getting messy or touching certain textures. This can make doing art projects and other creative play difficult. However, you can help your child to become more comfortable with these types of experiences and try new things to broaden their horizons. Here are a few crafts that you can try at home. Remember, it may take several tries to build up your child’s tolerance and get them used to the activities.
- Paint or color with Crayola Color Wonder supplies. Your child can be creative without worrying about getting their hands dirty – the color only appears on the special paper, not hands, clothing or other surfaces.
- Put paint in a plastic bag and seal it tightly. Encourage your child to squish the paint around and combine colors. They can also draw shapes or pictures with their finger through the plastic bag.
- Play with play-doh or modeling clay, which tends to stick to itself but not to hands. Practice kneading the dough and forming it into different shapes.
- Create sensory bins filled with corn kernels, beans, rice or pasta. Make it more inviting to dig through the bin by burying small toys that they have to find.
Start with activities where they are not actually touching the materials and then slowly work toward handling them with their hands. You could also start with things that are not wet or sticky, and then progress toward messier activities as your child becomes more accustomed to working with different mediums. Remember not to force your child to do something they do not want to do. Instead, provide them with many opportunities to participate and praise when they do. The team at PediaPlex can help your child adapt to sensory processing issues and develop more effective ways of coping.
Share some of your craft ideas for children with sensory processing disorders with us on Facebook!