Book Review: Everyday Games for Sensory Processing Disorder


Barbara Sher, The Games Lady, is one of our expert contributors here at SEEK Magazine. She has a new book out, which is full of fun activities to help boost your child’s development especially if they have Sensory Processing Disorder.

By Becky Horace


About the author

Barbara Sher, MA, OTR has over 40 years of experience as a pediatric occupational therapist. She is the author of eleven books on games that have been published in eleven languages, including Danish, Estonian, Chinese, Russian and Italian. Her books feature games to elevate attention span, self-esteem, academics, motor skills and social awareness and always to promote delightful learning moments for all kids. She has also given workshops on making inclusive games and learning toys out of easy-to-find materials in many countries, including Cambodia, New Zealand, England, Vietnam, Norway, Nicaragua, Hong Kong, Honduras, and the islands of Micronesia. In addition to her many years of experience, she has graciously been a supporter and expert contributor of SEEK Magazine since day one and has provided a plethora of wonderful, engaging, and useful articles to our readers about child development at any age.


What is sensory processing disorder?

The first few chapters in this book discuss the ins and outs of Sensory Processing Disorder. In a nutshell, we are always processing what is around us with our senses- sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste. We might see a bright beautiful flower, walk over and pick it and in using our sense of touch to feel the petals and then you will notice the lovely fragrance by using your ability to smell, you might hear a bee buzzing as you walk away. You might not always register that you are using all of those senses because for the most part it just comes naturally. For others with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) life is a little different.

An expert from Chapter 1:

SPD is characterized by either a hypersensitivity (over-responsiveness) or hyposensitivity (under-responsiveness) to ones surroundings due to the brains inability to properly integrate multisensory input. While all children may be quirky or particular about their likes and dislikes, children with SPD can be so affected by their sensory preferences that it interferes with normal everyday functioning. Children with hypersensitivity to sensory input may exhibit fearful responses to touch, textures, noise, crowds, lights, and smells, even when these inputs seem benign to others.

Sher continues with her lesson on SPD with the 10 most common issues that caregivers would see in their children. Issues that a child might have would have to do with touching messy things, dealing with loud noises, picky eaters, and clumsiness just to name a few.  Parents and teachers are the first line of defense when it comes to noticing peculiar behavior and bringing to light that a child might need treatment and with reading this book you would be well prepared.


What you will find in this book

After the initial lesson on SPD and what a caregiver can be on the lookout for, Barbara Sher, fondly referred to as The Games Lady, provides her readers with ten chapters of games and activities for children aged 2-12. The games cover all of the senses with a chapter on touch, sight, balance, taste, smell, movement, sound, gross motor skills, fine motor skills, and social skills. Each chapter describes in detail what areas you are helping your child work on, the possible issues you might be seeing in your child if they have problems in a certain area and the goals of the games you are using. Reading through this book and after reviewing the activities, Barbara has made this so simple. I am not a crafty or creative mom but with this book, she has taken out all of the guess work. It’s easy to understand and the items you need for the games and activities you will have on hand at home.

In the appendices of the book, Barbara goes into what type of toys would be useful to help your child with SPD to work on motor skills and the different senses. She also has shared her list of physical activities that you can perform to help your child build their strength that can be done at home, outside or at school. And if all of her knowledge, games and activities, and suggestions weren’t enough she throws in several success stories to help you to see that hard work always pays off.


Final Thoughts

I love everything about this book. My child does not have SPD but as a parent reviewing this book it was great to see some areas that I could assist my son with his “quirkiness” with touching messy things or when he freaks out over a loud noise. I would encourage any parent or teacher who works with young children to buy this book simply because I doubt you have the time to come up with 100 different games to play with your child. The best part in all of this besides the fact that Barbara has done all of the planning for you, all of these games will boost development in all children- even if they are totally “normal” with their development. This would be a great asset to have in your parenting book arsenal and a great gift to give any new parent. Barbara has made a difficult topic easy to understand with the way she writes and I know you will walk away from this book empowered to help your children with their development.


Everyday Games for Sensory Processing Disorder: 100 Playful Activities to Target the 10 Most Common Sensory Issues in Children with SPD is available for pre-order on Amazon and Barnes and Nobel. The book is on sale February 9th.

For more from Barbara Sher please click here.​

Enter our giveaway for the book here! Raffle ends on the 12th!

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