The Website to assist in at-home Sensory play for all children
Need to keep them busy and provide a sensory activity quickly? Need help getting organized or controlling impulses? Check these quick tricks below:
To burn off excess energy and get the proprioceptive system engaged, ask the child to "make the room bigger". Have them push on the wall with all of their strength until you are pretty sure they've received the necessary input. Give praise for adding an extra inch to the room! Works well in public places as well ;)
Set up a car wash. Grab a bucket and add water and dish soap. place it on a towel and have them wash their cars, animals, dinosaurs, etc. Keeps them engaged, busy and if they make a mess...it's just soapy water. They helped you wash the floor!
Keep heavy work objects in the house. A laundry basket full of pop bottles filled with water and tops taped on or phone books covered in colored duct tape, anything heavy. Ask the child to go get them and/or put them back.
Use your water bottles from #3 to set up hallway bowling. Set up the filled 2 liter bottles at the end of a hallway or room (a safe empty area, we use our hall and close all the doors). Give the child a kickball and have them bowl different ways down the hall. Each time, make them set their pins back up themselves.
Get help with chores! Push the laundry basket of clothes to the bedroom, carry in the groceries, keep the muscles and mind engaged.
Keep a small bag or lunchbox full of fidget toys in the car or with you on trips out. Have things that stretch, crack, smush, roll, etc. Having these available gives your child something to do when they start to hit their sensory wall.
Watch for your child's physical signs of over or under stimulation. For my son, one of his ears turns bright red when he has had enough. He has an actual physiological response to disorganized sensory input. Pay careful attention and maybe you can find one in your child as well. Maybe they pull or twirl hair. Maybe their cheeks flush. It can manifest itself in many different ways.
Magic Carpet Rides - If you have more than one child, have them do this together. Have them take turns sitting on the blanket while the other one pulls them around on a hard floor. Make sure they sit or lay. Some kids get a little dare devil in them and try to stand...this is hazardous for obvious reasons.
Kids, especially those with sensory issues or on the spectrum, are visual learners and often have a hard time with transitions. Try making a visual schedule for your home. Our daily routine varies, so we had to create a schedule that was flexible and changeable, but still let Sam know what was coming next in our day or any events or outings we may have that day. Make yours in any form that works for you, just be sure to include pictures that will make a meaningful connection to your child. (NOTE: The bottles on the schedule are for Sam's baby brother and sister. It helped him to know when I would be busy doing something and need him to do his activity solo. We would also move and adjust them throughout the day as the twins could not care less about my schedule.)