1. PLAY DOH, GAK, GLOP, FUNNY FOAM, etc…
Children need and love play doh and messy play, unless they have tactile defensiveness that is. There are so many versions of play doh, from pre-package to homemade, scented to unscented, textured to non-textured, cooked to uncooked. You name it, I have found a recipe for it. Check out Play Doh Recipes… here you will find dozens of fun recipes which make tactile experiences messy and fun!
Children need to touch a variety of textures and play with them to develop normal tactile processing. If your child will not play with messy items, it is even more important that you continue to find fun and creative ways to introduce these to them.
Check out the SPD Symptoms Checklist to find out if your child shows signs of tactile dysfunction.
You will also want to take a look at General Treatment Guidelines for helpful hints on how to introduce these materials to your child safely and effectively so they can learn how best to process this input.
Need modeling dough or accessories to use with it? Visit The Crayola Store for additional fun products to use!
2. HEAVY WORK ACTIVITIES:
These types of activities are imperative for children who have difficulty regulating their arousal levels. They are the crashers, the jumpers, the leg shakers, the ones that can’t ever seem to sit still. Boy, can they try your patience as a parent, teacher or even therapist! Regular heavy input into their neurological systems WILL help calm them down.
The premise behind these activities is to help their bodies receive
regular input into their muscles and joints in the most appropriate ways so they can get the input they crave and settle their bodies down.
You will see and hear a lot about heavy work activities. Often these activities will include using weights, weighted products, jumping, bouncing, rocking, pushing, pulling, swinging and being “squished”.
All kids need this! But, our children with under-reactive neurological systems will need it even more. These activities are truly used for most sensory processing issues and can have an amazing affect on the nervous system for regulation and modulation.
Hint: Always best to precede a sit down task with a heavy work activity.
Check out an extensive list of Heavy Work Activities I have compiled. Have fun trying them all! These activities should indeed be a big part of your daily sensory diet. Also, check out my Heavy Work Equipment And Activities Store for jumping, bouncing, moving and rocking products, as well as books for great game ideas!
Digging and playing in the sand is also a great way to give your body heavy input (as well as tactile experiences). Check out this e-book… How To Build Your Own Awesome Toy Backhoe.