My son is a typical little boy. He loves to jump, climb and crash his way through the day. For him, it’s more than fun, it’s a need. He uses this rough and tumble sensory input to help him feel secure in his little world. He’s been diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder. One way I ensure that my little Loopy gets his sensory fix is to construct fun obstacle courses.
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You might be surprised at what objects you can use from around your house to get your kids some great sensory input. My son has issues with vestibular and proprioceptive input. I layman’s terms he needs to have his balance challenged and is calmed by strong touch and heavy work.
We’ve been blessed to acquire some great sensory toys for therapy at home. But even if you don’t have all the same equipment, you will be able to construct a stellar sensory obstacle course with these elements:
Types of obstacles I try to add to every course:
Something soft to crash into
For us that can be a bed with tons of pillows.
In case you need a visual of how this works. HA HA!
Or sometimes Loopy likes to plunge onto these large foam blocks.
Something requiring balance to walk across
Again, we use a bed for a simple challenge. Or these large foam blocks since they sag quite a bit when stepped on.
If you have the funds, we LOVE these riverstones! I even find them challenging since they are varying heights and your feet can’t lay flat on them.
And this picture leads me to my next essential activity.
Something with weight
We use little mini dumbbells. The weight is calming to his system while it challenges his balance. We’ve also filled up a bag with canned food to have him drag around.
Something that requires getting down on all fours and extending the neck up
There are so many options here. Some don’t need any equipment. Encourage your child to walk like a bear. Help them “wheel barrel” around the room. Try some yoga poses. We also love crawling through tunnels or cardboard boxes, dragging our weighted bag.
Another fun element is to use frisbees or maybe plastic plates as sliders.
Something the encourages the crossing of midline
Heather over at the Golden Reflections Blog wrote a great post about the benefits of crossing over the midline (vertically). It helps with SO many skills later in life and it’s a big struggle for my son. Here we grabbed some fun fabric and had a dance-off!
Something to bang on
My kid will be a professional drummer, I’m convinced. While he does have his own mini drum set, everything in the house turns into a makeshift drum as well. The bed, couch, my legs… I let him really whale on these boxes to because he loves the strong input from banging.
Something to jump on
Again, beds are great! We also have a trampoline so he can really go to town. Jump is perfect for my sons needs. Working his inner ear/balance issues while giving him the jarring pressure his joints crave.
Something to push
I’m sure you have large items around your house that could use a shove. Try weighing down a laundry basket. Or if you’re in a pinch, just have them push YOU around. (My mom is such a good sport!)
Something to spin in
Loopy usually becomes quite fearful when being spun, so this tests his limits. But after so much great heavy work and pressure, he’s usually up for a spin in his swing. If you don’t have a swing and your child is small enough, pick them up for a dizzying dance!
Everyone has different objects lying around their house. Get creative and see if you can find one thing that will fit into each category. Come back and share what works! We’re always looking for more variety.
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Those large foam blocks are pretty awesome! When my daughter gets home from school, she seems to need some active sensory play and this obstacle course would be a perfect fit!
Yeah, we totally scored with those! After school is a great time to get the wiggles out!
Ur website is remarkable. My 3yr old has SPD and life has changed drastically since her diagnosis. Therapy is very expensive, n I was on the lookout for diy stuff in Pinterest. Came across ur blog. Its beautifully articulated n so so very helpful. A big thank you.. Really.
So glad you’re enjoying it! That’s why I’m here!