Summer is a great time to be outside and take advantage of the sensory opportunities around us. Here are some sensory activities to consider trying this summer:
· Tactile Play. Summer is a great time for messy play. Take a warm day to go outside to make your own slime/playdoh/oobleck, or paint beautiful artwork on your sidewalk with shaving or jello using hands or paintbrushes. In addition to crafts, take this time to walk barefoot in water, on grass, and on sand to practice receiving different tactile inputs on the feet, hands, and body. Sand gives us great opportunities for tactile play. In addition to building sand castles, try playing Hangman or Pictionary in the sand. On a really hot day, take some time for an ice dig. Fill a large plastic container with water and place small objects inside. Allow the water to freeze overnight and remove your large block of ice from the container. Place the ice block on the sidewalk or in the backyard, and using kid-friendly digging tools, let your child be the archaeologist in charge of finding the hidden objects in the ice.
· Visual and Auditory Play: Summer presents us with many new things to see and hear. Play 'I Spy' or 'I Hear' with objects around your neighborhood, play Pictionary using chalk on the sidewalk, make a scavenger hunt using clues and hiding objects in the backyard, or listen for bird calls and try to copy them.
· Proprioceptive and Vestibular Play: Summer is the perfect time to swing, climb, and jump outside. The park provides a lot of these opportunities. To build your child’s motor planning skills, work with them to create an obstacle course on the playground, and have them draw out a map of their obstacle course before they start.