Sensory Ideas for After the Holidays

sensory ice skateWhatever holidays you celebrate at this time of year are probably over now. It is likely that the quantity of toys and/or stuff in your home has increased. The children have been out of school for a while now and the different structure or lack of routine may be presenting challenges. And it is time to prepare and plan to make the New Year the best year for your child.

1. Reduce the Volume.  This is a great time to clean out and reduce the number of toys your child has. Too many toys often overwhelm children, which typically results in limiting their play. Ideally, your child should only have 10-15 toys available at any given time. (Blocks count as one toy.) Give away those that your child has outgrown and pack away the rest. Rotate toys every 1-2 months.

2. Tap into Lengthy Activities.  Use this break from school for longer activities that you may not typically have time for:

For the sensory seeking child: Take advantage of winter sports – even if you are not in the north, many communities have ice skating available which provides an excellent heavy work (vestibular and proprioceptive) experience; Take a winter walk – make it a scavenger hunt, with a list of items to find. Bring those items home and create a collage or mobile. Add a backpack or pull a wagon to increase the sensory input.

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Bonnie Hacker, MHS, OTR/L About Bonnie Hacker, MHS, OTR/L

Bonnie is a pediatric occupational therapist with extensive experience working with children with sensory processing disorders. For the past 30 years, Bonnie has been in private practice in the Chapel Hill-Durham area of North Carolina and in 2001, she began Emerge-A Child’s Place.