“Literally bouncing off the walls.”
That’s what happens when your sensory kids try and get their needs met during a global pandemic. Tell me I’m not alone.
The COVID-19 disease has turned the world upside down. Sadly, it has presented sensory kids with some unique challenges to overcome as well. Occupational therapy is virtual, diagnoses are on hold, schedules are unpredictable, and getting out of the house is somewhere between dangerous and illegal depending on where you live.
Kids with sensory needs are finding their normal avenues shut off to them, so we as parents need to get creative to meet those sensory needs while staying safe.
Have a Routine
Many of us are schooling from home for the first time. Even homeschoolers like myself have lost out on co-ops, field trips and FRIENDS! All of us have had our plans changed.
It’s important to try and craft a new normal during this time. As many of you know, kids with sensory needs often feel out of control during normal times, and struggle with transitions if they don’t know what to expect. Providing a visual schedule and a pattern to our days can go a LONG way in helping your child feel more comfortable during this crisis.
When you are creating this routine, include regular short sensory breaks. Every hour would be amazing!
One way we keep things fresh with our sensory activities is using these sensory activity printable cards. You could give your child a couple options and let them pick one, or you could live on the wild side and play a go-fish sort of game where whatever someone grabs, they have to then do!
Zero Equipment Ideas
Frequently, readers ask me what sensory activities they can do if they don’t have expensive sensory equipment. I’ll do you one better and share a couple ways your child can get sensory input with absolutely nothing but their own bodies! (Keep these ideas in mind too for things to do when you’re out and about on errands and such *post pandemic of course!*)
Jumping (Jumping Jacks, Leap Frog, Hopscotch, Contest to see who can jump on one foot the longest, etc etc)
Pushing (A Wall, Their Own Hands Together *think like prayer pose*, Or try putting your hands flat again your child’s hands and with you both having outstretched arms, push against each other. It’s like a reversal of Tug-o-War.)
For more details, read this post on 8 Ways for Sensory Seekers to Get Their Energy Out
Common Household Materials
Before you spend a ton of money on sensory equipment, try looking around your own home through the eyes of sensory activities.
Your couch can be a wiggly obstacle course, pillows can lead to a great pillow fight, blankets can become sleds on smooth floors, chairs often spin and rock for vestibular input, and the floor can become anything you want with a little painter’s tape.
There are a ton more ideas for turning furniture into sensory equipment HERE!
It might not be pinterest worthy, but it’ll get the job done!
Video Demonstrations of HUNDREDS of IDEAS!
Real life sensory activities is kinda my specialty! The Sensory Parenting Membership Community was created to support parents in practical ways. One of the biggest ways we do that is by having a searchable video library. You’ll be able to select what sensory need you want to work on, indicate what equipment if any you have, and then a big list of videos will show up. These videos feature me and my very real and sometimes difficult child doing sensory activities so that YOU can see not just WHAT they are, but HOW to think on your feet and respond to ever changing needs.
During the Coronavirus crisis, membership is 60% off! And you get to lock into that rate permanently (and of course you can cancel at any time!)
Want to learn more???
Here’s all the details about the Sensory Parenting Membership Community that includes the searchable video library, parent training sessions, and a community question and answer forum!