Sensory play is a great way to engage your child’s five senses (and vestibular system)! Young children learn through tasting, touching, hearing, smelling, seeing, and feeling their spatial awareness. Talking through sensory play is a great way to introduce vocabulary to children and help them practice their speech and eye contact. A child who is feeling over- or under-stimulated may also find comfort in taking an activity break to do some sensory play. Here are a few examples of ways you can engage your child through sensory play.
Everyday Sensory Play
Sensory play can be traditional games and activities, or it can be simple daily routines. Drawing your child’s attention to the sensory experiences of everyday life can be a great way to help them learn self-regulation strategies.
- Swinging. Swinging is a great way to exercise your child’s vestibular system. You can tell your child to pay special attention to their balance, which muscles they use to propel themselves forward, the feel of wind against their face, and the sound of laughter.
- Brushing teeth. Make brushing teeth more fun by pointing out the feel of the toothbrush as it scrubs away the plaque on your child’s teeth. Ask them to pay attention to the taste and smell of the minty toothpaste.
- Jumping on a trampoline. This is another great way for your child to have fun while exercising muscles and the vestibular system.
- Gardening. Gardening exercises not only sensory skills but social skills as well. Your child can feel the texture of dirt and plants, cooperate with other children, follow directions, and smell the great outdoors.
- Sensory table. This is something you can build for your child at home. It’s also a great way to stimulate your child’s senses while in a controlled environment. Cut a rectangular hole into a child-size table and insert a plastic bin. Inside the bin, you can place sensory materials for your child to play with, like flour, rice, beans, sand, etc. The table holds the bin in place while your child plays with the sensory materials.
The Connections Therapy Center
The Connections Therapy Center is a top therapy center serving families of children and adolescents with disabilities. Our team consists of the leading experts in the fields of pediatric speech, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, and behavior sciences. We offer intensive, hands-on therapy for children and adolescents as well as resources for families. We are real therapists helping real families with real issues. If you are concerned about your child’s behavior, take a moment to fill out our quick questionnaire. If you’d like to schedule an appointment, call 202-561-1110 (Washington, D.C. office) or 301-577-4333 (Lanham office) or contact us via our website. Want to keep up with our latest news and blog posts? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.