Your preschoolers have been having lots of fun this year in the OT sensory groups!! On the last Tuesday of the month each classroom has sensory time in the Big Gym. We also do mini sensory activities before OT groups on the other Tuesdays of the month and every Friday. The classroom teachers are also modifying these sensory activities to use during their daily routines. Listed below are some of the favorites that you can use at home to calm and organize your child and to just have fun!!
- Bumper Pillows – Each adult and child holds a large pillow in front of their tummy and then bumps each other’s pillow like bumper cars. It is fun to give each other a big bear hug with the pillows between you, too.
Sensory Input – Deep pressure (proprioceptive) for calming and organizing
- Parachute Play – (You can use a sheet) Shake the parachute over your child or have your child sit on the parachute and you shake it to make waves/wind. Put a beach ball or pillow in the middle and everyone shakes the parachute and tries to keep the ball in the parachute.
Sensory Input – Tactile – can be excitatory so it would be helpful to follow this game with one of the deep pressure or “heavy work” games to calm everyone down.
- Zoom Ball – Use a large ball. Child lies on tummy on ball; adult holds child’s ankles. Push ball forward so that child’s hands are on floor. Child walks hands on floor away from ball a short distance and then adult pulls child back quickly with a “zoom”
Sensory Input – Weight bearing and “heavy work” which is strengthening and calming.
- Hot Dog – Child lies on floor on his back. Adult rolls ball on top of child with some pressure to “apply the hot dog condiments”. When child has enough “ketchup” or “mustard”, he uses his hands to push the ball off.
Sensory Input – Deep pressure for calming and organizing.
— Lynn Vosbeek, OTR