As the weather becomes cooler outside, it is important that children with Sensory Processing Disorder continue to get needed input, since their time outside is limited. Sensory input is required to facilitate improved regulation, which can help to prevent or lessen meltdowns. Routines are also out of sync this time of year, due to school vacations and holidays, which can affect a child’s emotions and increase the need for parents to provide input while at home. Here are a few ideas that can be done around the house to help your child enjoy the winter months.
- Create Obstacle Courses- Allow children to climb under tables, hop across pillows, animal walk (bear, crab, or inchworm) down hallways, or climb over the bed in a routine pattern, and always with safety in mind.
- Build forts or tents (with blankets and sheets) allowing the child some quiet time to read or get away from a busy environment.
- Make sensory bins with rice, beans, sand, or water, and hiding toys inside to promote tactile play.
- Baking- Make food that requires getting messy or kneading, in order to provide proprioceptive and tactile input.
- Play hide and seek with flashlights! With the use of the light, find objects around the house for each letter of the alphabet or objects for each color.
- Chore helper- Allow children to assist with chores, such as pushing the laundry basket down the hall, unloading the wet clothes from the washing machine and move to the dryer, bring in groceries, pick up toys, make the bed, feed the animals, or set the table. These tasks will provide a since of responsibility, in addition to providing great sensory input.
Presented by: Lindsly Pittman, MS, OTR/L