Although the weather is improving many kids are finding it hard to be at home all the time when they are used to being in school, daycare, and out in the community. They may be feeling restless and seeking movement, or they may seem lethargic and like they are not alert. Here are some suggestions for ways to help your child be “just right” regulated and ready for home learning.
Need a calming activity? Try sensory bins!
•A small bin filled with water makes a great simple sensory bin. You can add cups, spoons, or sponges for squeezing, filling and pouring.•If you have a backyard a sandbox or bin provides great tactile input. Adding shovels and pails also makes for a great resistance activity to provide extra feedback to muscles and joints.
•You can put sand, rice, beans or other small, dry objects in a bin. Hide small objects or toys in the bin and encourage your child to search for them with their eyes closed. For older children, they can try to guess what object they’ve found before they look.
Need a movement break for an active child? Try heavy work!
•Animal walks provide input into all the limbs and joints. You can challenge your child to an animal walk race down the hallway or out in the yard.oHere’s a helpful video that shows different types of animal walks:
•Go for a weighted walk. Put a few items, like books or a water bottle, in your child’s backpack to provide some weight. Go for a walk around the block or run up and down the stairs.
•Hold up the wall. Show your child how to place their feet hip-width apart facing a wall and place their hands straight out in front of them with their palms against the wall. Now challenge them to “hold up the wall” by pushing as hard as they can. See who can hold up the wall the longest!
Need an alerting activity? Try repetitive movement!
•Help your child balance and bounce on an exercise ball. •Use a beanbag chair or a pile of pillows as a crash mat. Show your child how to fall or “crash” into the mat.
•Spin your child in a laundry basket or on an office chair.•Rock your child in a rocking chair or on your lap.
Looking for more suggestions?
For tactile sensory play check out this list of 31 ideas: https://childhood101.com/sensory-play-ideas/
This site has great suggestions for finding opportunities for heavy work in daily life: https://yourkidstable.com/heavy-work-activities/