Summer activities for kids with sensory processing deficits

Playgrounds are a great summer activity for kids with sensory processing deficits

Summer is an exciting time for everyone, especially children! Schools out, no homework and nothing but open days to play. However free time is not always exciting for all children, especially for children dealing with sensory processing deficits. Sensory diet activities are the best way to maximize your child’s enjoyment this summer.

Children with sensory processing deficits can present with a variety of behaviors. Some children seek out all kinds of movement, such as climbing, spinning and are always in motion. These children often have difficulty paying attention and with following multi step directions. Some children seem lethargic, slow moving and they never want to participate in movement activities. Other sensory processing deficits that you may see are children that will not touch different types of textures with their hands, feet or whole body.

First let’s address the child that is in constant motion, has difficulty attending to tasks and has difficulty completing tasks with multiple directions. Listed below are activities that your child would greatly benefit from:

Activities that can be done at any park:

  • Monkey bars
  • Wall climbing
  • Creating 2-3 step obstacle courses and seeing how fast your child can complete them
  • Swinging

Activities that can be done in your backyard

  • Animal walks: bearwalking, crabwalking, bunny hops, etc.
  • Jumping on a trampoline
  • Helping with digging during gardening activities
  • Helping push a wheelbarrow during garden activities
  • Pulling a wagon with heavy items in it
  • Climbing
  • Swinging

Summer also brings great summer treats. Drinking thick drinks such as milkshakes and smoothies increases the child’s attention and their alertness level during activities.

Children that present with a low alertness level, seem lethargic and are slow moving during activities benefit from different sensory diet activities that maximize their ability to participate in summer activities. Listed below are activities that your child would benefit from:

  • Swinging
  • Jumping
  • Spinning on tire swings, rope swings or playground equipment
  • Playing in sand boxes
  • Riding on bikes or scooters

Some children have difficulty touching different textures with their feet, hands, or whole body. Summer is perfect for taking your shoes off and getting dirty! Always remember to allow your child time to adjust to the new texture. Don’t place their whole body into the new texture at once. Try their hands or feet first and then allow them explore it with other parts of their body. The best part about doing these activities is all you need is a hose and a towel to clean them off afterwards.

Activities to get messy with outside

  • Digging in the dirt during gardening activities
  • Playing with bubble liquid during bubble play
  • Using shaving cream to draw on cookie sheets or sidewalks
  • Playing in sand boxes
  • Finger/feet painting activities

Summer is the perfect time to get outside and have some fun. Try some of the activities above to increase your child’s enjoyment during the summer months!

Thursday, June 7th, 2012 in Tips from Infinity

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