It’s the one day of the year when we all think of LOVE. Valentine’s Day is all about chocolate, hearts, Valentine’s Day cards, roses and …..Meltdowns!!!
For your sensory deprived or over stimulated child, Valentine’s Day may feel more like….Oh no! Maybe your child is less social, overly sensitive, or comes crashing down from the sugar blues. Try a few, out of the box, sensory ideas to make this Valentine’s Day one to remember for the good!
- Choose Your Heart (and other shapes). Open a can of Emotions Putty, Space Sand or Putty Elements and stuff it with small hearts or other objects like buttons, pennies or paperclips. In fact, you can have your child place the hearts into the putty or sand. Then your child can mash it all together and pull the pieces back out. It’s a terrific intrinsic finger muscle builder and the heavy handwork keeps the sensory system in check.
- Gel Tracers. Place a gel filled pad over an outlined heart. Let your kids trace the heart with their fore finger. It’s a great handwriting warm up. You can also place letters of the alphabet, numbers and words. The repetitive motion reinforces the formation of shapes and letters, and the fingers become more agile with practice.
- Read a story in the ball pit. Grab a book about Valentine’s Day and spend some quality time in a ball pit or hanging out on a beanbag chair This calming experience will not only help regulate mood but also provide much needed one-on-one time. Discuss people or experiences that make you feel good. Listen for cues that give you an opportunity to help foster emotional intelligence and well-being.
- Swing and sing. Got a frame, celling hook up or swing bar in place? Hang up your favorite hammock chair or action swing and sing a little love song together. It’s a great way to work the core, arms, legs and respiratory muscles while vocalizing and having a good old time! Grab your favorite CD or iTunes love list and sing your hearts out. It’s totally therapeutic!
- Mark the Spot. Toss a set of spot markers around the room. Make special I love you notes to place under each spot market, with messages that can be read out loud. You can even hide these and play “find the spots!” A great motor planning, reading, vocalizing and coordination activity.
- Do Yoga with a partner. It’s time to move, because moving makes everyone just feel better! Get your therapy ball and our Yoga Deck for Kids. Now grab a partner and do the partner activity cards.
After all, Valentine’s Day is really about being together and remembering those who are most special to us!