A growing brain needs to experience many different stimuli daily for the central nervous system to develop typically and allow children to process sensory information. Kids are spending more time inside watching TV or playing on electronics. This, combined with our school systems taking away more time from recess and increasing the requirements of young children to sit, our children’s sensory needs are being neglected. Many children with ADHD, autism, or anxiety have more sensory needs than the average child. Therefore, planned activities or designated spaces where they can get these needs met is essential. More and more of our children are developing dysregulated sensory systems. Lack of sensory input can cause problems with attention, focus, and behavior. Make sure that you are thinking about your child's need for sensory experiences every day. Here are some ideas:
Outside play - No matter the weather, dress them appropriately and get outside and play. Rain, wind and snow are just more opportunities to experience sensory input.
Water play – Go to the pool, give them a bath, play with the hose, go out in the rain, or buy a water table.
Messy play - Make playdough, ublic, or slime. Play with shaving cream, foamy soap, sand, bubbles or finger paint.
Join a sport – Get them running, jumping, or climbing. It doesn’t have to be competitive just get them moving. Swimming lessons, gymnastics, and yoga classes are great activities for dysregulated kids!
Get cozy - Allow them to build a tent of blankets, make a pillow corner or fill a pop up tent with balls or turn a closet into a sensory room.
Get calm - Turn down the lights and put on the lava lamp or bubble tower. Play soft music and put a heavy blanket on.