Sensory input never stops. We are constantly bombarded by sights, sounds, smells, movement, and textures. For some kids, this can be very overwhelming. Or perhaps certain things are unbearable, like touching something squishy. During school, children engage in daily sensory processing activities. But over the summer, they may lack the same stimulation. There are plenty of fun activities you can do as a family that incorporate play while also letting your child slowly adjust to different sensory experiences.
- Set up a sandbox or water table. Pretend you’re at the beach and use different toys to play.
- Draw with chalk. This incorporates touch and sound while allowing your child to be creative. Play games like tic-tac-toe, trace outlines of each other and color them in, or just draw whatever comes to mind.
- Finger paint. You can work up to actually touching the paint by placing paint in a sealed plastic bag first and squishing it around with the plastic as a barrier.
- Shaving cream is also great for sensory work. You can write in it, draw with it, or just smear it around, but it slowly disappears.
- Jump in the sprinkler. A great way to cool off while getting used to the feel and sensation of the water.
- Go on a scavenger hunt. Look for different items, but also different textures, such as things that are bumpy, rough, soft, or smooth.
- Swing on the swings, go down the slide, or balance on the seesaw at the playground. Bring balls and other toys so they can run, jump, kick, throw, and hop.
- Make sensory tubs by filling plastic bins with materials such as corn, rice, sand, blocks, beads. Hide items in the bins for them to find.
- Make dough or slime and have them mix ingredients with their hands, or squish around the finished product.
Think about what your child likes (and dislikes) and how you can make different sensations more enjoyable and fun. Remember to go slowly and let your child ease into things. Maybe today they only touch the paint for two minutes, but later in the week it’s five or ten minutes. Be patient and keep exposing them to different textures and movements. It takes time for them to become more tolerable.
PediaPlex makes therapy fun for kids so they don’t even realize they’re working and learning. If you’re concerned that your child may have a sensory processing disorder, or are looking for treatment services, PediaPlex can help. Support your child in more effectively engaging with the world around them.
Are you concerned that your child may have a sensory processing disorder? Contact PediaPlex for an evaluation and therapy options.