With the arrival of cold weather, children tend to spend more time indoors, often doing sedentary activities. Their need for physical activities (sensory diet) do not, however, decrease. If the weather keeps you inside, look for opportunities within your home. Set up simple obstacle courses using blankets, pillows, couch cushions and/or old mattresses. Challenge your child to move through it in different ways (back wards, sideways, eyes closed). Make the activity a game by having your child carry something through the course, such as bringing people to a vehicle or pieces to a puzzle.
Partially fill a large plastic container or small toddler pool with beans, lentils, rice, or sand. Hid small objects in for your child to find. You can make it more challenging be placing a sheet over the container and asking your child to reach under and find objects without looking. Play with foam soap by squirting it on a table or tray, smooth out, then let your child draw pictures in with their finger, drive vehicles though, or wash small figures. If you can’t find foam soap you can use shaving cream. We have found the lemon-lime scent to be the least overwhelming.
Should we be fortunate enough to have a good snow, sledding and building a snowman provide fun opportunities for heavy (proprioceptive) work.
Do some early spring cleaning, engaging your child in moving furniture; taking the books off the shelves (for dusting) and then replacing them. Simple home equipment like a mini trampoline, tunnel or hoppity ball can add variety to a home program. If you would like to establish a home sensory room, talk to your child’s therapist about a consultation, either at the office or in your home.