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Fun Sensory Activities to Keep Your Child Busy During COVID

February 2021

If you are a parent, psychologist, teacher, pediatrician, or anyone involved in the care of a child with special needs, you may be stretching your imagination more than ever during the COVID pandemic. Trying to meet your child's sensory needs while still providing fun activities for such an extended time can be challenging.

Sensory is essential for your child to learn how his or her body works, and enable them to interpret and process the world around them. Sensory play is an important piece of play for special needs children, and hopefully, these ideas will help you learn more about fun sensory activities.

Why are Fun Sensory Activities Important?

Sensory activities will stimulate your child's senses. The five main senses:

  • Touch

  • Smell

  • Taste

  • Sight

  • Sound

and two less known or addressed ones:

  • Sense of balance or vestibular

  • Sense of body parts or proprioceptive

The more your child uses these senses in their fun sensory activities, the more it will help them learn new things and developmentally. Fun sensory activities can help your special need's child:

  • Learn something new. The more senses used during fun sensory activities, the easier it will be for your child to remember or recall information

  • Build on their language. If your child describes a sensory activity, they gain an understanding of words.

  • Promote social interaction. You can invite others to join in on sensory play to increase your child's social interactions.

  • Develop better motor skills. Many fun sensory activities help to strengthen muscles in your child's body that are used in daily living, such as zipping their coat or brushing their hair.

When you select fun sensory activities, you want to consider what your child will learn, and how they will experience it.

Fun Sensory Activities

Kids are more aware of cause and effect, what their bodies can do, and how things work. If your child has sensory integration challenges, you want to create fun sensory activities that will create connections between the pathways of their brain responsible for processing stimuli.

These are some ideas to choose from for fun sensory activities:

  • Sensory Bins

  • Sensory bins are often used in preschool settings as they allow children to explore the different shapes and textures of objects. Using different textures, shapes, and colors in plastic storage bins, or cardboard boxes is an excellent activity for your child. Use items such as:

  • Beads or buttons

  • Unpopped popcorn

  • Clay

  • Sand

  • Rice

  • Shaving foam

  • The possibilities are endless in what you can put into different bins. You can also change items out periodically to keep the activity new and exciting.

  • Dance on Bubble Wrap

  • Bubble wrap can be a lot of fun. Allowing your child to hop, stomp, or run across a safely secured mat of bubble wrap is an excellent sensory activity.

  • Balloon Sport

  • Children are fascinated with balloons. Allow your child to stretch a balloon, try to blow them up, and feel them as they expand as you blow them up. After you've blown up a few, try playing soccer, basketball, or any game using the balloons. The balloon game is great for hand-eye coordination.

  • Feast on Textures and Colors

  • One way to experience new textures and colors is to make a tasty dessert that is crunchy, jiggly, squishy, smooth, soft, or any other texture to heighten your child's sensories. Talk to them about ingredients and choose pretzels, Rice Krispies, popsicles, or other foods they can experiment and experience different senses with.

How to Learn More About Fun Sensory Activities

ABA Pathways is your behavioral consultation service. We are committed to helping your special needs child and your family find and build a brighter future. Our treatment programs are designed to meet your child's and your family's individual needs. We have expert behavioral analysts on staff ready to talk to you about fun sensory activities you can provide your child during the COVID pandemic.

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