5 Ways to Implement a Sensory Diet
Like a hunter in the wild, you can sense this coming. Your momtuition (yes, I made that word up just for this occasion) is on full alert. You see the change in stance, you see the mood shift, or the eyes change ever so slightly and you brace yourself. Your child is going into a homeschool meltdown! Things are about to go awry if you don’t act fast! So, you quickly grab a sensory event to stem the tide and turn things around so the day can go on to a successful ending! What are these sensory things you can grab in the moment? Let’s investigate!
Spelling obstacle courses are amazing!
Spelling always raised the roof on our sensory events, so I worked hard to get creative on this subject. I would have everyone stand somewhere random, and if they spelled their word correctly, I would have an activity for them to do like spin for ten seconds, do five jumping jacks, stand on your head, do a forward roll, etc. This should be customized to your child so that they are stimulated in a way that relaxes their senses.
Bouncing is a fantastic and easy activity to incorporate into your day.
We find a yoga ball, or playground ball to bounce on while reading, or doing math. The motion seems to work to keep things moving with less prompting from myself (which I love)!
Weigh them down!
If your child is on the ceiling, weigh them down with a weighted lap pad, or blanket. You can also have them carry a stack of books, or a bag of flour from one place to the next. Sometimes, I send someone to the pantry with an empty backpack to count cans (up to a certain amount) into the backpack. They bring that back to me (I have moved to as far away as possible at this time), and we count the out of the backpack and back into the backpack. Then they go put everything away. These are some easy ways to incorporate a little counting fun into a sensory event.
Go all fine motor on them! Legos are amazing for the senses and mind! These bricks work the fine motor skills while the bumps create a great sensory experience! Legos lend themselves to model building for a historical battle or a scientific concept. They also create a great visual experience for math! So, I say, get your build on!
Rice is for more than just eating!
We have rice bins for each person. You can color the rice if you want, but we just chose different colored bins. The bin size is up to you, but you really do not need much for this event to be successful. Sifting rice is relaxing. If you have a raised-edge cookie sheet, you can practice letter or number formation (draw/use rice to create a letter/number that matches the one on a flash card), build a model (2D style), and write spelling words in the rice. These activities get the work done while satisfying the sensory needs, and creating a relaxing environment.
Orbeez are so not over rated!
Orbeez are the new rice, except they incorporate a wet experience! That means twice the sensory satisfaction! You can mix a bunch of different colored orbeez into a bin, and have your student sort into bowls by color. You can have them line them up to represent a math problem they are working on (instead of linking cubes, use orbeez), they can use these to “draw” letters or spelling words too! The possibilities are colorfully, squishily endless!
Shaving cream boards!
This is an oldie, but a goodie! You can have your student do almost any type of work on a cookie sheet with shaving cream. They fill the sheet so it is like a blank, white paper, and begin to write. To erase, they just smooth everything out so it looks like a blank, white paper again.