Spring is right around the corner and with it may come an extra dose of sensory challenges. For some children, seasonal changes in clothing, weather and routine bring just enough extra or unfamiliar input to throw their sensory system out of whack. Luckily, your nearest sale counter is probably brimming with an economic, effective tool that can help with the seasonal transition – plastic Easter eggs.
Whether you celebrate Easter or not, you have undoubtedly run across marked down plastic eggs this month. My suggestion? Scoop them up and don your Sensory Savvy Lenses.
Take up the challenge below to view these simple plastic Easter eggs from a sensory vantage point. Below, discover six ideas to get you started.
Offer children plastic Easter eggs, scissors, Wikki Stix and other small craft items.
Challenge the kids to create 3-dimensional egg décor. Better still, make a zoo of animal-like creatures using the eggs as heads or bodies.
Explore Pinterest for Egg Decor Ideas
When introducing new foods, make a game of it.
Place small, single portions of several target foods and several favored foods in different plastic Easter eggs.
Then, using a spinner or dice, sketch cues for “taste it”, “smell it”, “kiss it”, “touch it”, “hold it in your mouth”, and “look at it”.
Have your child take an egg, roll or spin a command, open the egg and attempt to fulfill the instruction.
The novelty of opening the eggs, paired with the possibility of getting a favored food inside of one, may just help move your feeding efforts along.
Exercise Egg Hunt
Capitalize on the enthusiasm of past Easter hunts by setting up an Exercise Egg Hunt.
To prepare for it, simply slip text or images into plastic Easter eggs that indicate different exercises, such as jumping jacks, spins, toe touching, etc.
Hide the eggs, and, then, in a given amount of time, have children locate them.
When time is up, challenge children to “crack” their eggs open and create an exercise routine using all the different exercises indicated within their eggs.
Once they complete their routines, reward them with a treat.
Visit our friends over at Sensational Brain where you will discover BrainWorks sensory diet images just perfect for this activity.
Scent Sleuth Game
Many plastic eggs have little holes in them. Use these little holes to create a Scent Sleuth game.
To prepare, place cinnamon sticks in two different eggs, cotton balls soaked in lemon juice in two others, ones soaked in vanilla in two others, etc. until you have enough eggs for an entire carton of pairs.
Offer your child an egg from one side of the carton and have them sniff the eggs on the other side to try to find the matching eggs.
For vestibular and proprioceptive input, hide one set of eggs high and low and have your child hunt for each match.
Sound Sleuth Game
Similar to the idea above, create a Sound Sleuth game.
To do so, instead of placing scented objects in the eggs, use items that can create unique sounds when a child shakes an egg.
A dried bean, a small pair of dice, a penny, a small amount of sugar or salt, etc. all work well.
Seal the eggs with electric or duct tape and then have your child try to pair the eggs by sound.
To add some fun and fine motor exercise into otherwise typical academic reading or math problems, use plastic eggs.
Put a question in one egg and its solution in another.
Mix these up with a whole set of problems and solutions and challenge your child to open the eggs to match them up. This works well for simple math, words and definitions, subject-based trivia, etc.
Obtain More Fine Motor Input
To add further fine motor input to any of the last four activities above, have your child help you prepare the eggs. Opening and closing the plastic eggs, as well as, picking up the tiny objects to put inside provides opportunities for fine motor exercise.
Play Classic Egg Games
Don’t forget about the classic Easter season games. These games can be done with plaster eggs too! Consider
Each of these games and others like them all provide opportunities for motor planning, vestibular work, etc.
Add Eggs to Sensory Bins
Plastic eggs make an excellent addition to any sensory bin or water table.
Egg halves can be used for digging, filling, pouring, even floating.
Ones with holes in them can be used to dribble water out of.
Honor Your Child’s Creativity
Some of the best games and activities come from children’s own imaginations. Offer eggs and other materials in a shoe box and have your child invent a personal activity.
Whatever you do, key into what is challenging for your child. During this seasonal transition, get creative and come up with activities that provide opportunities for your child to “practice” the skill they need to work on. Then, if you use eggs to do so, be sure to come back to share on Facebook what you did so others can benefit from your ideas.