This time last year I discovered my daughter was a sensory seeker and for once, I felt like someone was answering my prayers.
As a sensory seeking child, she would crash into things, be right up in your face, stuffed her mouth with so much food I would have to remove myself from the table, she was constantly filthy or naked and she would never wear shoes for love nor money.
Now, she goes barefoot if she wants, I cut tags off her clothes, I allow messy play within reason and I try to keep her stimulated as much as possible during the day because I know we will all get rest come bedtime if I keep her active throughout the day.
If you're looking for some simple activities to do at home with your sensory craving child, here are some kid-approved things to try that have been proven to strengthen your child's vestibular and proprioceptive system:
Not only are bubbles great for children with speech difficulties, but they also boost eye contact, new sounds and words. Blowing bubbles is also a fun way to teach young kids to take turns. It also helps strengthen the core by blowing long streams of bubbles while keeping them engaged, but most of all it's a fun game - running around popping the bubbles and kids adore it.
Lots of pressure.
Firmly press a pillow across your sensory seeking child's arms and legs to make a sandwich or roll them up in a blanket to make a burrito. Encourage lots of massages, back rubs and even big bear hugs. You could invest in a massage roller or lap pad if your budget allows.
Get the body moving.
Jumping on a trampoline is a brilliant way to get vestibular and proprioceptive input while also building endurance but not possible for everyone. Alternative body awareness games that won't cost you anything include musical statues, Simon Says and Hokey Pokey.
There are various benefits of installing a sensory swing of some sort in your home or even your back garden from increasing balance and coordination, promoting spatial awareness, it's a mood booster, strengthens muscles and by pushing your child on the swing it encourages bonding.
Encourage your sensory seeking child to get involved and help you with general household duties like feeding the dog, taking out the trash, hoovering, cooking such as kneading bread or mixing with a whisk, carrying groceries and pulling clothes from the washing machine and filling it again.
Not that your child will need much encouragement to get their hands dirty but set up regular invitations to play with activities like finger paints, play dough, clay, water, rice, pasta, oats and sand. Although if you're going to play with sand indoors make sure its kinetic sand or something similar or you will be cleaning it for days. Trust me. Rookie mistake.