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.
- Warm up. 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.
- Bonding Time. 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!