By: Meghan Matusiak, MS, OTR/L

Goodbye Fall and Hello Winter! With the winter weather approaching fast, spending endless hours running around and playing outside are very limited. This could be a very challenging transition for children who have sensory processing difficulties.

When the weather prevents children from playing outside, coming up with fun sensory activities indoors can be difficult. Well, not anymore! Below I have listed suggestions on indoor activities that can provide sensory input.

Indoor Winter Weather Activities

  • 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.
  • Therapy Ball
    • 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 is 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.
  • Chair Activities
    • 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.

If you have any questions about continuing therapy at home or general questions about occupational therapy, we would love to hear from you!