By: Meghan Matusiak, MS, OTR/L
Winter is in full swing, and, thanks to the cold temps and icy and snowy weather, children now have to spend more time indoors rather than run around outside.
When the weather prevents children from playing outside, coming up with fun sensory activities indoors can be difficult.
Don’t worry, though, because we’re here to help!
It’s time to put away those tablets and turn off the TV. We’ve compiled a list of fun and exciting sensory-friendly indoor activities for your kids to play and enjoy!
Obstacle (Sensory) Course
Build/set-up a simple obstacle course in the basement, living room, or bedroom using any household materials (e.g., couch cushions, pillows, blankets, sheets, and/or furniture)
- Encourage your child to climb over, crawl under, or jump during specific parts of the course.
- Incorporate animal walks: bear walk, crab walk, frog jumps, and wheelbarrow walks
A therapy/yoga ball is a great piece of equipment to incorporate into everyday activities at home.
- Have your child lie on his/her stomach over the ball, weight bearing on his/her hands to complete a puzzle or play a game.
- Have your child sit on the ball to bounce up/down while sitting at the table or playing a game. Supervision recommended for safety.
- Roll the therapy ball over your child’s back, legs, and arms while the child is on his/her stomach to increase body awareness.
Sitting in a rocking chair or a computer chair that rotates can be used for vestibular input.
- Rocking chairs can be used for linear (back and forth) movement for a calming input
- Computer chairs can be used for linear (back and forth): pushing the chair in a straight line
- Computer chairs can be used for rotary (spinning) movement for an alerting input
Tips for providing rotary input
- Spin your child for a maximum of 10 times in one direction, pause for a minimum of 10 seconds, and continue to spin for an additional 10 times in the opposite direction.
- If your child reports dizziness or becomes pale or nauseous have him/her jump in place.
Time spent indoors doesn’t have to be boring or filled with endless screen time. With these games, you’re sure to get your little one moving and laughing in no time!
If you have any questions about sensory-friendly activities, sensory integration, or any of the other services we offer here at Communikids, contact us! We’re happy to answer your questions, and we’ll do our best to put your mind at ease!