As snowflakes fall outside and the temps drop, cozying up indoors feels natural. But for our little sensory seeking adventurers, the indoor winter months can be tough! They’ve got lots of pent-up energy and the need for a physical and sensory outlet.
Don’t let cabin fever take hold! We’ve got you covered with 10 fun and easy activities to keep your sensory seeking kiddos bouncing, building, and buzzing with joy, even when the thermometer dips low.
What Does It Look Like To Be Sensory Seeking?
Let’s take a peek into what it looks like to be a sensory seeking child.
- Movement Mavericks:
Does your child seem like a perpetual motion machine, always seeking out climbing, jumping, or spinning adventures? They might crave proprioceptive input, the deep body awareness gained through movement.
- Touchy-Feely Explorers:
A fascination with textures, a nose for intriguing smells, and a love for bold tastes and sounds might indicate your child seeks tactile, olfactory, and gustatory input.
- Cuddly Cravers:
Does your child find comfort in deep hugs, love squeezing into tight spaces, or enjoy being “squished” under blankets? They might enjoy vestibular and proprioceptive input, sensations related to balance and body awareness.
- Sound & Sight Thrill Seekers:
Does your child seem boundless in their energy, easily bored by quiet activities, and often on the lookout for intense or novel experiences? This could be a sign of a desire for auditory and visual stimulation.
10 Indoor Activities For Sensory Seeking Kids
For sensory seeking children, it can be hard to find things that meet their needs, especially when you’re limited on activity options by yucky weather.
Here are 10 easy-to-do indoor options for your sensory seeker to try!
- Deep Pressure Den:
Build a cozy “burrow” under the table with blankets and pillows, create a “squish fortress” with giant stuffed animals, or offer weighted lap pads for calming snuggles.
- Tactile Treasure Hunt:
Blindfold your child and let them embark on a sensory safari, describing the textures of hidden objects around the house.
Use pom-poms, bumpy balls, silky scarves, and textured fabrics to ignite their touch receptors.
- Sensory Play Dough Extravaganza:
Add spices like cinnamon or lavender for fragrant kneading fun, mix in glitter or beads for tactile exploration, or chill the dough for temperature play.
Don’t forget rolling pins, cookie cutters, and safe play tools to fuel their creativity!
- Musical Movement Mayhem:
Crank up the tunes and turn your living room into a dance floor!
Encourage jumping, stomping, twirling, and swaying to different rhythms and tempos. Create your own instruments with pots and pans, use scarves for ribbon dancing, or build an indoor obstacle course to the beat.
- Water World Wonders:
Fill the bathtub with lukewarm water and let your child play with sensory balls, floating toys, or colorful squirts.
Don’t forget the bubble bath fun! For older children, a mini water table with cups, sponges, and funnels can offer endless splashing and scooping activities.
- Building Bonanza:
Grab the blocks, legos, or even cardboard boxes and let the construction commence!
Create forts, towers, imaginary worlds – the possibilities are endless. Encourage teamwork and collaboration, or let your child’s imagination take flight solo.
Bonus points for building with different materials like blankets, pillows, or recycled items!
- Sensory Swing Sanctuary:
Invest in a sturdy indoor swing or hammock, or improvise with a blanket strung between chairs.
Swinging provides proprioceptive and vestibular input, promoting calm and focus while satisfying that love of movement. Add soothing music or read stories for a multi-sensory experience.
- Zip-Zap Zest!:
Channel those inner superheroes with obstacle courses!
Use couch cushions, pillows, laundry baskets, and any other safe household items to create a challenging and fun path. Time their runs, add silly challenges, or make it a team competition. Remember, safety first!
- Cozy Crunch Crunch:
Embrace the wintery vibes with a sensory snack party!
Pop some popcorn (air-popped is healthiest!), crunch on celery sticks with almond butter, or build edible snowmen with marshmallows and pretzel sticks. Don’t forget the crunchy fruits and vegetables – a sensory feast awaits!
- DIY Sensory Bottles:
Transform empty water bottles into mesmerizing sensory wonders.
Fill them with colored water, glitter, beads, or small toys, and watch them mesmerize your child with their swirling and shaking magic. Add calming music or nature sounds for an extra sensory treat.
Remember, every child is unique and their sensory needs, preferences and likes are too, so adapt these activities to your child. Try out a few, see how they respond and adjust accordingly.
Most importantly, have fun! Winter can be a blast for sensory seeking kiddos with a little creativity and a big dose of love.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, need more support or have specific questions about your child’s sensory seeking behavior? We are here to help!
Reach out to us at Beyond Speech Therapy Specialists and we’ll connect you with one of our therapists. Give us a call at (779) 435-0724 or send us a message here!