Category Archives: Activities

Sensory Toys: Tactile

It can be really overwhelming trying to decide what you should be to help your child meet their sensory needs at home.  It seems like there are never ending products.  Today is our tactile day today in our series, The Ultimate Guide Sensory Toys for Home!

How to use this guide:
This guide has convenient affiliate links throughout and although I do not earn a profit from this blog, I do have expenses for this blog.  A very small percent of your purchase helps cover my expenses (Thank You!)

Pricing guide:
Under $50.00 = $
$50-$100.00 = $$
Over $100.00 = $$$

The corresponding sensory systems impacted are also listed.  I am not an Occupational Therapist and you should consultant with your own Occupational Therapist for direct advice.

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If you are short on space this is a great option!
Sensory System:  Tactile
Price: $

 

 

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Sand and Water Play Table
Sensory System:  Tactile
Price: $$

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Kinetic Sand
Sensory System:  Tactile
Price: $
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Theraputty
Sensory System:  Tactile
Price: $

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Playdough
Sensory System:  Tactile
Price:  $

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Ball Pit and Soft Plastic Balls
Sensory System:  Tactile
Price: $$$

More Tactile Ideas:
Rice Bin:  Large plastic bin with 20 pounds of rice (best price is from Costco or Sam’s Club).
Shaving Cream: for finger painting on a window or mirror.
Silly Putty
Water Beads

Our entire Series from The Ultimate Guide Sensory Toys for Home:
Sensory Toys: Swinging and Hanging
Sensory Toys: Bouncing and Balancing
Sensory Toys: Deep Pressure Proprioception
Sensory Toys: Fidgets
Sensory Toys: Oral and Auditory

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For when you wonder if your child has Sensory Processing Disorder…

There is sometimes, nothing more complicated than a fresh diagnosis. We are in the middle of walking a new journey but one thing is for sure, I’ve got this Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) stuff down!! If you are new to Sensory Processing Disorder or wondering how to get your child diagnosed, I thought I’d share a little bit to help you through. October is Sensory Processing Disorder awareness month, please share this post and spread awareness!

Have you ever wondered why your child refuses to wear pants (tactile)? Doesn’t notice that their face or hands are dirty (tactile)? Refuses to eat crunchy foods (taste)? Prefers to dump all the toys on the floor (sight)? Loves loud noises or hates loud noises (auditory)? Gag’s at the smell of certain foods (olfactory)? These are just a few examples of everyday occurrences that are actually sensory related.  There are so many more sensory related everyday experiences,

From as far back to as when our daughter was born, we knew we had a lot of challenges with her and we were at a loss of where to go and what to do in order to get help!  Every time we were at the doctor’s office for a sniffle, I would mention the challenges and they would tell me this was normal.  I am not a doctor, a psychologist or anyone who can offer medical advice.  This is just mom to mom.  So, if you at all wonder here’s what you can do…

What is Sensory Processing Disorder?

We actually have eight senses: touch (tactile), taste (gustatory), sight (visual), sound (auditory), smell (olfactory) and there’s three more vestibular (balance, coordination, spatial orientation), proprioception (sense of muscle and joints) and interoception (internal regulation for thirst, hunger, etc.) . Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) occurs when the brain receives mixed messages. Basically it’s the way the brain processes the senses.

A checklist of signs and symptoms of Sensory Processing Disorder.

I think my child might have Sensory Processing Disorder.  How can I get my child diagnosed?

Maybe you’ve just heard of this thing called Sensory Processing Disorder and you are wondering how to get to get your child diagnosed. Well, here’s the bad news first. Sensory Processing Disorder is not a standalone diagnostic condition. The American Medical Association does not recognize it in their diagnostic manuals (what doctors use to diagnose). In the DSM-V (what psychologists use as the diagnostic manual), it is listed as a symptom.   What that means it is a characteristic of another disorder (such as Autism).

What that all really means for you is that you will find some medical professionals who discount SPD as a disorder. The thing is that, Sensory Processing Disorder can be a standalone disorder by itself. It is recognized by a lot of medical professionals and teachers as a disorder. We just aren’t there yet in the diagnostic manuals (confusing I know).

for when you wonder if your child has Sensory Processing Disorder




Should I get my child evaluated?

My take on this as a mom is that if you have concerns about your child then, YES!  It never hurts to have an evaluation done.  One of the things I always ask is how much is this effect you and your child’s daily living?  This is usually the definition of disorder.  When it makes daily living a challenge then you know!

Where can I go to get my child evaluated?

There are a few places and people that you can seek out for help. If your child is 5 and under, you may qualify through an Early Education center in your area for evaluation. Usually, they are called Early Intervention.

You can also, look for a psychologist in your area that is knowledgeable and has experience with Sensory Processing Disorder. You will also want to look for an Occupational Therapist that has pediatric experience and is familiar with Sensory Processing Disorder.

My child got diagnosed with SPD now what?

I know the feeling, you want to do everything possible to help your child and you are anxious to do so. The first thing I would recommended is starting with a few great resources to grown your knowledge of SPD.

Want to know more about Sensory Processing Disorder as a whole, The Out of Sync Child by Carol Kranowitz, is the best book to read.  This will help you understand all the senses and how they affect our neurological system.

Wondering what kind of fun, creative, and easy activities you can do at home, Sensory Processing 101 is a must have!  This book is loaded with activities for you and your child to have fun together, while experiencing some at home therapy!

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What toys and tools would be helpful to have in my home?

Coming soon …my toy guide… will be here just in time for Christmas shopping!  Join my mailing list to find out more.

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Coming Soon- A Parent's Guide Sensory Toys for Home. Until then, check out some of my favorites here.

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New Book Review & Free Activity Printable.

Disclaimer: I am part of the Sensory Processing 101  launch team. The links used in this post are affiliate links and I will receive a small commission. This does not affect my review and opinions about this book.

I got the privilege of getting a sneak peak of a fabulous new book, Sensory Processing 101, which just came out on Sensory Processing Disorder. It is written by the amazing bloggers behind Lemon Lime Adventures and The Inspired Treehouse.

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I think I have read every book on the market on Sensory Processing Disorder and this is definitely a must have.

Here’s a few things I love about it:

  • It’s simply laid out and broken down into explaining what Sensory Processing Disorder is, Sensory Activities and a Resources section.
  • I loved all the activities they included in the book and it is full of pictures!
  • When you are in a hurry trying to add activity to your day this book is a must, every activity is simple and you can do them at home!

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Today I’m sharing my favorite activity from the book and including a free printable just for you!

Free Gross Motor Scavenger Hunt Printable.

We need a lot of movement in our house and one of the activities in the book was a Sensory Motor Scavanger Hunt!  I loved this and wondered why I haven’t thought of it before.  Miss Sensory does best when she gets to be in charge so I made her this easy to understand printable and we headed outside on a hunt to complete these 5 simple tasks.   Find something to climb, to play catch with, crawl under, walk across and jump over.  (The book does include several other items to find, I kept it simple for Miss Sensory.   There is also a printable list in the back of the book if your kids are of the reading age)

One thing I didn’t do that they suggested in the book was taking pictures of your child doing each activity.  I focused on just being unplugged spending time and interacting with Miss Sensory, but this would be a great activity to photograph each accomplishment!

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Homemade Finger Paint (Tactile Sensory)

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How’s your summer going?  Busier than ever?  Mine too!  One of the things I love about summer is taking all our messy art and tactile sensory activities outside.  Today, over on The Jenny Evolution I’m guest posting a super fun way to finger paint outside.

So, I’m sharing the recipe for these awesome finger paints.  They are super easy to make!  They are eco-friendly (for outside use) and edible (just incase your child decides to taste them).

They turn out part paint – part slime great for tactile sensory activity!

Ingredients:

3 tbs sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup corn starch
2 cups water

Combine ingredients in saucepan.  Warm until mixture thickens.  Cool and pour in containers.  Add food coloring to create desired colors.

*** We used all natural food coloring since we avoid dyes.

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Watercolor Easter Eggs

 

Watercolor Easter Eggs

MATERIALS:
Thick white paper (water color paper, textured scrapbook paper etc).
Watercolor paints
White Crayon

Step 1:  Cut an egg shape from your white paper.
Step 2:  Use the white crayon and draw several patterns on your eggs.  Chevron, swirls, polk-a-dot, scallops.

IMG_0118Step 3:  Paint your eggs with the watercolors and watch the designs appear.

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Don’t be surprised if you have a sensory kid that decides painting this way is better.  (Why not add a little tactile input into this project right?!?)

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