Inside You’ll Find: Crazy simple, calming sensory activities that won’t break the bank or take much prep.
Today, I’m honored to introduce you to my friend Erin! We’ve known each other via the world wide web for a while now and we connected over our sons’ mutual sensory issues. She runs a great blog at Putting Socks On Chickens. If you have a sensory kid, you probably understand why she named it that! Be sure to follow her feeds on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest!
When my son is in the middle of a meltdown, the last thing that will work is for me to tell him to “calm down” or suggest that he do a calming sensory activity. Once he is in full blown meltdown mode, we have to sit back and let him come back down on his own. Once the meltdown is over, I can then hold him and comfort him. Luckily, over the past year, our sensory meltdowns have dramatically decreased, simply because we add in more sensory activities throughout the day that he loves.
I’ve spent money on all of those wonderful sensory tools that so many have luck with, only for my son to refuse to actually use any of the tools. So I quit buying stuff and started using the stuff that we already had laying around the house. Besides saving a little bit of money, the best part is that he actually uses the stuff; after all, it’s all stuff that he already had and loved to play with.
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8 Fun Calming Sensory Activities that are Cheap or Free
Blow up a balloon and play with it.
Having my son blow up a balloon is probably one of the best “breathing exercises” he does. And guess what, he has gotten really good at blowing up balloons. Of course, you can’t blow up a balloon and not have a little bit of fun tossing it around.
Blowing bubbles is the second best “breathing exercises.”
Blowing a whistle can be loud and annoying to the parents, but my son loves his whistles. And if blowing on that a few times means less meltdowns, I’m all for it.
Not only are they fun to make, but calming jars are also a great way for my son to shake some of his aggression away. Or make a whole calm down bin!
Jump on trampoline.
Who doesn’t love jumping on a trampoline.
We built a Platform Swing for my son, which he LOVES! The platform swing lets him choose his position he wants to swing, on his back, stomach or sitting criss cross applesauce. The platform swing also works great for spinning. Add in blowing bubbles or blowing the whistle, and this can completely change his mood. But a regular old swing will work just as well.
So this one, my son thought of himself. I think it’s important to include your child in coming up with calming exercises and encouraging them to come up with their own ideas.
Have a pillow fight.
We have a lot of fun getting some built up frustration out by having a pillow fight. It helps calm both of us down.
The two things I have learned over the past year when it comes to sensory activities to help calm my child down is make them fun and do them often.
I hadn’t thought of pillow fight – great idea! My daughter also uses one of those large exercise balls to bounce around. It is very calming for her and gets our some excess energy!