It's the one day of the year when we all think of LOVE. Valentine's Day is all about chocolate, hearts, 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 solutions to make this Valentine's Day one to remember for the good! Also visit our Valentine Day's board on Pinterest for more fun sensory activities!
Find your Heart (and other shapes)
Start with Regulation Putty
, Weighted Sand
or a Sensory Bin
and add your own heart shapes. Ask your child to place the hearts into the putty or sand or pellets, and then pull these out. Mash all the small shapes together to make a large heart shape. It's a terrific intrinsic finger muscle builder and the heavy handwork keeps the sensory system in check.
Place a gel filled pad
over an outlined heart. Let your kids trace the heart with their forefinger. It's a great handwriting warm up. You can also trace letters of the alphabet, number and words. The repetitive motion makes the formation of shapes and letters stick and the fingers become more agile with practice.
Read a story while sitting together in a ball pit
or while rocking in a Cozy Canoe
. Grab a book about Valentine's Day or feelings and emotions and spend some quality together. This calming experience will not only help regulate moods but provide much need one-on-one time. Discuss people or experiences that make you feel good, happy, loved or even sad. Listen for cues that give you an opportunity to help foster emotional intelligence and well-being.
Swing and Sing
Got a frame
, ceiling suspension
or swing bar
in place? Hang up your favorite mesh net swing
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 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
or furry spots
around the room. Put ‘I love you' notes under each one with a message to read out loud. You can even hide them and play "find the spots!" A great activity that blends motor planning, reading, vocalizing and coordination.
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!
Do you have any seasonal sensory classroom activity ideas? We're always looking for new strategies to share! Reach out to us at [email protected], or on our social media pages!