If you’ve been around here at all you know my son has a sensory disorder. It’s nothing scary or detrimental but it does require some extra care. (There are different types of sensory disorders which you can read more about here.) My son is sensory seeking – which means he is always seeking extra sensory sensations and experiences. (which is why he’s such a daredevil!)
Through the years we have learned a LOT of ways to help him both at home and in the classroom. Although we were able to afford therapy for about 6 months when he was younger we couldn’t afford it for long. Now I’m noticing kids everywhere that have sensory issues! Here are some tips for sensory seeking kids both at home and at school!
This is by no means a replacement for therapy if you can afford it (I highly suggest at least some OT if you can – even if just for a few months). This is NOT meant to diagnose your child in any way – I am NOT a doctor. But I know many of you are interested in how our family handles a sensory disorder, or even how to handle a child in your class that is extra fidgety with a sensory disorder. BOOKMARK this page! Pin it, email it to yourself, share it on Facebook – whichever is the easiest way for you to find it again!
Tips for Sensory Seeking Kids At HOME:
3. Use a Weighted Lap Pad. (buy on Etsy here)
4. Have Silly Putty in your cars!
5. Give your child an MP3 Player – great for road trips when siblings are loud!
6. Buy Noise Cancelling earmuffs (we use BabyBanz and have had them for years)
7. Install a Hanging Seat and/or Swings Indoors (See Ours; IKEA is very reasonable!!)
8. Buy a Small Indoor Trampoline. (We found a small exercise one on Craigslist for $10)
9. Buy Resistance Items like Dumbbells and Resistance Bands.
10. Invest in a good outdoor play set or build your own!
11. Have a Sand Box. (Put Sand and other textured items in it like beans or rice.)
12. Have a well stocked art cabinet with items such as modeling clay, paint, art sand, etc.
13. Consider installing a cable zip line. (we have this one!)
14. Consider investing in a pool – even if it’s a smaller kiddie one!
15. Invest in occasional classes such as swimming lessons, horseback riding or tumbling (check your YMCA!)
16. Make a “sandwich” out of your child by putting him/her between two pillows and gently smooshing them.
17. Play Tug of War.
18. Have Wheelbarrow races where you hold their feet and they walk on their hands.
19. Have Squeezy objects (like stress reliever balls) in the car.
20. Give them a container of washable paint in the bathtub.
21. Pull a weighted wagon. (load it with dirt, firewood, or other kids!)
Tips for Sensory Seeking Kids In the CLASSROOM:
1. Buy a Fidget Band. (big elastic band for the bottom of their chair)
2. Weight their book bag with heavier books or an extra water bottle.
3. Have the teacher send your child to the office or another classroom every day delivering heavy objects like phone books or curriculum books.
4. Have Noise-Cancelling Headphones available at all times.
5. Use a weighted vest. (buy on Etsy)
6. Use a lap blanket. (buy on Etsy)
7. Have the child push heavy objects across the floor (like a crate of books).
8. Seat the child away from computers, windows and distractions as much as possible. (front of the class is best)
9. Make fidget “toys” available (such as Tangle Fidgets) if the child can use them quietly.
***Have a copy of The Out of Sync Child AND The Out of Sync Child Has Fun on hand – I HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend these!
We incorporate as much messy, squishy, highly active play as possible for us to keep up with! We think totally outside of the box. We have made mud pits in our backyard, filled kiddie pools with cornstarch and water, and anything else you could possibly imagine. We spend a lot of time outdoors, go hiking in the summer, and we do lots of messy crafts in the winter!
Below are a few specific books that I highly recommend or have been recommended to me for various issues along the way.
Looking for even MORE sensory ideas for kids? Check out our Sensory Ideas for Kids GROUP!