By: Martianne Stanger
What does summertime and sensory awareness add up to?
Opportunities for a host of fun activities to enjoy with your kiddoes over the next couple months! At least, in my opinion, it does.
As regular readers might know, I have a “sensory kid.” Dealing with sensory issues comes with a fair share of challenges. However, it can also result in an unexpected and awesome side effect: family fun time!
In fact, sometimes when my husband and I select an activity to provide a specific type of sensory input for our oldest child, we discover that our younger two children love it and request it again and again. Likewise, when we deliberately layer extra sensory input into an everyday activity in deference to our oldest child’s needs, we usually find that all of our children enjoy the experience more. Indeed, through consistently donning what I call “SPD Lenses” or “Sensory Savvy Lenses,” our family has enjoyed shades of enjoyment for us all! The sensory diet our eldest requires inspires fun for us all.
Want some ideas to test out with your family this summer? Try these:
• Enjoy Tiny Treasure Egg Carton Walks in your back woods, along a seaside trail or in any nearby green space. Simply challenge hikers to fill each section of an egg carton with a different tiny treasure as they hike along. In doing so, you’ll key into fine motor, gross motor, olfactory, proprioceptive, and tactile fun.
• Build and enjoy a Mud Kitchen for fine motor, gross motor, proprioceptive, and tactile fun.
• Break for a Musical Interlude. Free summer concerts can equate to auditory, fine motor, gustatory, gross motor, motor planning, proprioceptive, and vestibular fun when you add dancing and a picnic to the experience.
• Play Kerplink-Kerplunk by tossing objects into the water and discerning what sounds they make. It will provide auditory, fine motor, gross motor, proprioceptive and visual fun.
• Enact Animal Adventures by dramatizing different animals at your local playground for some gross motor, motor planning, oral-motor, proprioceptive, speech and vestibular fun.
• Don’t forget Indoor Fun. Sometimes, even kids – especially sensory kids – need a break from all the input outside.
Indoors or out, enjoy a sense-ational summer, and, if you have a chance, please share what might you add to a bucket list of sensory fun for summer!