There may be times when we aren’t able to do regular OT, and this time is one of them! Let’s keep calm and get creative with some fun activities to do at home that will keep your child engaged. Ah, but this isn’t another list of things to place in a bin or a station to create with a theme: I want to share with you some methods to use to select your own supplies and invent your own activities.
- Use What you Have
You don’t have to buy any fancy materials, craft supplies, or equipment. ANYTHING goes, as long as it’s safe. Uncooked beans and rice, socks, paper plates, and more all have fun textures your child would love to play with.
- Get Ready to Adapt
If there was a plan for how your home-made sensory activity was going to go, get ready to have your plans changed and be totally okay with it. If you wanted your child to sort colours of beads, and they are satisfied rolling them between their fingers instead, then praise their curiosity and join their fun.
- Avoid Screens
Don’t be tempted by devices and apps that keep your child staring at a screen for hours. While I do do plenty online for children with sensory issues, do take those ideas and DO them! It’s so easy to watch and be ‘hearers of the word’ only. Try some of those activities out, along with texture exploration, physical play, or water play.
- Model and Participate
After you have set up your activity, invite your child to join you in the play. It can be so tempting to get your child occupied then walk away. Sometimes, that break is needed and well deserved. However, to really make the most of at home sensory play, your child will remember and appreciate whoever stayed with them and played too. If using sensory stations as a distraction becomes a habit, some children are likely to feel “tricked” and will lose interest. Remember that they are unlikely to remember what you have said over the years but they will always remember how you made them feel.
- Don’t Cry over Spilled…anything.
Take a deep breath and realise: a mess is probably going to happen. Take the precautions and lay out towels or old magazines beneath your work area. It’s going to be okay!
My service is full of sensory at home strategies and play. Do check it out, click here for more info