Parents have been asking for a list of sensory activities to do with their children. We recommend that you always ask a professional for guidance when creating a sensory diet. Here is a list of a few of my favorite at-home activities:
1.) Touch (tactile sense)
- Put slippery textures on a large piece of paper, tray, or a cookie sheet (eg., shaving cream, hand lotion, sloppy mud, wet sand).
- Play with playdough, sand, uncooked rice or/and beans.
- Google “goop, slime, and gak” recipes to make.
- Hide little toys and coins in putty for a treasure hunt.
- Make a car wash using a bin of soapy water, mini cars, and towels.
- Do crafts. DLTK’s has easy and free printable preschool crafts.
2.) Balance and Movement (vestibular sense)
- Build an obstacle course with pillows and other “stepping stones.”
- Use a jump rope or chalk to draw a makeshift balance beam.
- Find a good children’s yoga video.
- Rough and tumble play.
- Animal walks: bear walk, crab crawl, fly, slither, crawl, gallop, prance, etc.
- Other walks: wheel barrel walk, skip, walk fast, walk slow, run, tip toe, etc.
- Play Red Light, Green Light.
- Playground play.
- Go swimming.
- Go for a walk.
- Songs: Ring Around the Rosy, Head Shoulders Knees and Toes, If You’re Happy and You Know It, Hokey Pokey, musical chairs, or blast some good music and have a dance party!
3.) Body Position (proprioceptive sense)
- Use large pillows/bean bag chairs to build a mountain. Climb to the top and jump crashing down.
- Heavy work: help to carry grocery bags, help to put groceries away, help load wet clothes into the dryer, take out a bag of garbage, clean tables and windows, make the bed, and/or carry a heavy watering can to water flowers.
- Wall pushups, wheel barrel walk, sit ups.
- Use a bed or couch as a crash pad. Pick up your child, and safely throw him on it.
- Body squeezes.
- Use pillows to make a “child sandwich,” or a “kid taco.”
- Ride a bike or scooter.
4.) Seeing (visual sense)
- Follow a daily schedule board.
- Fishing games.
- Egg hunt.
- Play basketball, kick a soccer ball at a target, play with a ball (roll, throw, catch, bounce, dribble, bounce & catch), or ring toss games.
- Build tracks and ramps for cars and marbles.
- Read books and talk about them.
- Play with blocks and legos.
- Have a water fight with spray bottles, squirt guns, and hoses.
- Use the hose to water the garden.
- Use flashlights on a rainy day, at night, or inside a tent.
5.) Hearing (auditory sense)
- Play instruments.
- Sing songs. Sing loud. Sing softly. Hum a song.
- Imitation Songs: Sing three word and have the child imitate the words in the same manner. Create a rhythm with instruments or clapping and have the child imitate the same rhythm.
- Listen to calming music. Yoga and relaxation stations are great.
6.) Smelling (olfactory sense)
- Make scented index cards with spices from your spice rack. Describe the smells.
- Cook together.
7.) Tasting (gustatory sense)
- Try new foods.
- Go apple picking and strawberry picking. Pick vegetables out of a garden.