Sensory Moments for Children: Part 2

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Learn more ways to bring sensory moments into your everyday with your child aged newborn to three years old in part 2 of our series. 

 

By Barbara Sher, The Games Lady

 

 

TASTE

  • Make a plate of small amounts of different foods. Taste with eyes closed and guess what it is.
  • Allow them to try different sweet things that have cinnamon, licorice or citrus flavors.
  • Describe the tastes of common foods; sweet, salty, bitter, sour, fruity.
  • Describe the textures of foods; crunchy, sticky, smooth, chewy, silky, creamy.

VISION

  • Hang interesting things above their bed or changing table; crepe paper, scarves or ribbons that blow in the breeze.
  • Place your baby in various locations in the house or room to broaden their scope of perception. How does the same room look from different perspectives?
  • Make faces up close to your baby and then move your face slowly in various directions (side to side, back and forth, near and far).
  • Wiggle your tongue; and move it side to side, and in and out. Babies are often mesmerized.
  • Take your child on a tour of the house pointing out different, and familiar, things each time
  • Take your child for a walk outside and look for new sights to discover or point out anything interesting.
  • Put a bird feeder outside the window where she can see it.
  • Blow bubbles in a cup so that they overfill the cup and drape down the sides.
  • Light a candle during bath time so your baby can watch the flickering flame.

MOVEMENT (PROPRIOCEPTIVE) MOMENTS

  • Passively put your child’s arms and legs through the whole range of movements and sing along “Your arms go up, your arms go down. Your arms go in and your arms go out.”
  • Make obstacle courses in your house for your child to move through on their own. They should be able to go over, under, around and between. For example, crawl under a table, step up on a chair and jump over, go between the two chairs and around the other table.
  • Do jumping games or physically jump the child, especially when they are feeling anxious. Place newspaper squares on the floor and encourage them to jump from square to square.
  • Play games such as “Ring around the Rosy” or “London Bridge’s.”
  • Squeeze their muscles; give strong hugs, compress the joints. Deep pressure on their bodies helps bring kids back to the present.
  • Use big bro’s skateboard to push them around.
  • Roll them up in a blanket, like a burrito; sing a silly song while you do it.
  • With two people you can hold the ends of a blanket and lay your child inside, gently rock them side-to-side and jiggle up and down.
  • Put your child in a box and push it around the floor like a car, or rock it like a boat on wavy water.

BALANCE (VESTIBULAR) MOMENTS

  • Put child on your knees and slowly rock them from side to side.
  • Place child on beach ball and bounce them up and down or roll side to side.
  • Go to the playground and swing! Or set up a swing indoors by hanging a small chair in the door way.
  • Rock the child in your arms or hold them when they are standing in front of you. Shift your weight from side to side and back and forth.
  • Dance together; at first with them standing on your feet, later just holding hands while you twirl them around in a circle.
  • At the beach or in the pool, float your child on their back in the water.
  • Do somersaults on a soft rug.

 

 FOR MORE OF BARBARA SHER’S GAME IDEAS GO TO: amazon.com/author/barbarasher-gameslady​

previously published on parentingspecialneeds.org in July 2010

photo by melanie cook CC BY NC SA 2.0

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