Stuck inside? Why not make the most of it with a winter sensory solutions checklist. We’ve got 5 great tips for making indoors not just fun, but sensory savvy. For kids with Autism, ADHD, Sensory Integration Disorder or other neurologically based sensory needs, attending to their sensory diet is a must. Regular attention to sensory needs can minimize meltdowns, mood swings and outbursts as well as improve focus and attention.
- Some like to think of it as housework, but we therapists think of it more as productive heavy work with benefits. Scrubbing, washing, mopping, sweeping, vacuuming and cleaning can give your kids a great workout and leave them, well maybe not, feeling like a great family contributor. Regular chores are important for teaching responsibility and they are terrific for the sensory motor system. Make sure chores are age appropriate and their effectiveness on your home may not show up for a few weeks, months or years, but the payoff is magnificent!
- Obstacle Course. Grab some chairs, beanbags, pillows, tunnels, or even your garbage can and create an obstacle course in your home. The size of the room does not matter. Kids can climb on, over and go around and under items like laundry baskets and tables. They will get great pull on their muscles and no doubt will have a blast.
- Swing. If you don’t’ have one, get one. You can suspend a swing from a doorway that will hold kids through adults. Or you can hang one from a rafter or a basement beam. Swinging increases blood flow, engages core muscles and can calm an overly anxious individual. We’ve even seen swing time open up dialog.
- Jumping. Much like swinging, jumping is a great overall workout with the added benefit of cardiovascular exercise. Jumping can improve alertness, focus and concentration as well. You can get a jumping board for your aggressive jumpers or a small trampoline for those who prefer more moderate jumping.
- Action Room. Why not just go ahead and set up a room, basement or other space for Action! You can design this room with hand picked, therapist approved pieces of equipment.
Guest Post written by Ilana Danneman, PT, written for Fun and Function. Ilana Danneman is a mom and registered physical therapist. Currently, Ilana is part of the Product Creation team at Fun and Function, as creator of many items on the market for physical and sensory needs and a writer/blogger.