Let’s be real. Sometimes those moments when the kids get home from school can be extra stressful. Having a plan and activities can provide structure and help relieve some of that stress. Cathy Porter shares with us 10 sensory activities that will help provide structure and help your child(ren) decompress after a day of school. If you missed the first 5, you can find them here. These 10 activities are quick to set up, low budget and easy for parents to implement!
6. Checking pens and pencils –this might sound a bit ridiculous but sometimes handing my girls a big handful of colored pens and some scrap paper and asking them to test the pens to see if any need throwing out works really well. It is repetitive, allows for satisfying sorting and some doodling or angry scribbling!
7. Coloring – This is a great go-to in our house. If no coloring book is on hand I grab any paper – or the back of an envelope, draw a tangled loose scribble and invite them to find and create a different pattern in each space that has been created. This can be done with just one pen if need be, they get inventive with dots, dashes, wavy lines…
8. Soft indoor ball – when you need to be quick and easy, and occupy more than one child on the edge at the same time indoor is often needed. A soft, sponge ball (kept with our shoes) can be thrown up the stairs and watched as it gently and methodically bounces back down. It’s not too loud, not too physically demanding and can be repeated over and over. It can also be thrown at a wall and caught over and over. Or can be rolled from person to person. This is very repetitive – and not my personal favorite, but works well some days.
9. Animals –we have pets in our family life, partly because our girls respond to animals so readily. They often bring instant visible calm. Bringing a willing pet to them for a cuddle when they need to regulate is worth all the day to day time it takes to care for them.
10. Marbles – over the years we have grown quite a collection. We keep a whole load in the living room on the bookshelf because they are such a useful sensory activity. They can be played with in water (plastic bowl), or on a tray (lovely sound if a wooden tray or dish), can be sorted into groups, are so tactile. They can be sent down cardboard tubes, or run down the middle of a large open book. They can be sat in amongst on the floor and can be simply fidget things for hands and feet.
What sensory activities does your family enjoy?
Written by Cathy Porter