A Soothing Spa Day Doesn’t Have to Be Just For The Adults
For any of us who have spent the day, or even a few hours, at a spa we know how relaxing it can be to slow down a bit, indulge our senses and be pampered!
Why not create the same “aaahh” inducing experience for our kiddos!
Maureen, one of our fabulous Occupational Therapists, shared some awesome ways to get that spa-like experience at home and incorporate some excellent sensory regulation opportunities.
Massage activities provide proprioceptive input which helps to promote self regulation and assist in calming a child’s sensory system. Certain scents, lavender for example, can impact a kiddo’s olfactory system (sense of smell) and provide a calming effect. Different spa inspired additions, such as water beads in a foot bath, are a form of tactile input (touch) and would be relaxing for kiddos who seek that input.
Remember when introducing any sensory activities, let your child’s preferences dictate what to do and what to leave out. These ideas may not work for all kids but can be modified to best fit most sensory needs or aversions.
Set The Scene
Most music apps have awesome “Spa Music” playlists. Play these soothing sounds in the background to create the ideal environment.
Soothing or Dim Lighting
Soft lighting or a darkened room is an easy way to slow down the body and mind. You could also throw some scarves or thin colored linens over lamps and give the space a colored glow.
Essential Oil Diffusing
A calming lavender or eucalyptus oil helps to create that spa-like feeling. This can easily be omitted if scents are too much for your child.
Warm and Cozy Temperatures
It’s easy to relax and unwind when you’re warm and comfy. Make sure the space you're in is at a comfortable spa-like temperature.
Create A Menu of Spa Services
Massage with Lotion
One of the best things about a trip to the spa is a gentle massage!
Treat the kids to the same thing with warmed lotions, scented or unscented, and ask them to tell you how much pressure they would like. Maybe a deeper pressure feels great to them or they prefer just a gentle back rub - this is a great way for kids to experiment with different sensations and determine which is the most comfortable.
Sensory Foot Bath
A simple shallow bucket filled with warm water and bubbles, maybe some water beads or smooth rocks, makes a relaxing, sensory filled treat.
Kid Friendly “Mud” Masks
A fun way to have a grown up spa experience is to make kid-friendly “mud” masks! Check out these easy (and edible!) recipes: 3 DIY Edible Face Mask Recipes
Dry brushing is a great way for those who are sensory seeking to get tactile input. Brushes made specifically for this purpose can be found on Amazon and a quick Google search can provide you with further information about different techniques.
Up The Sensory Factor
Weighted Blankets and/or Lap Pad
There are so many benefits to using weighted blankets and weighted lap pads; stress and anxiety reduction and activating “feel good” hormones like dopamine and serotonin. It’s recommended that the weight of a weighted blanket should about 10% of the child’s body weight.
Drape the blanket or lap pad across your child’s legs while they relax in their foot bath - instant spa experience!
Soft Blanket Fresh From the Dryer
Dial up the coziness with a soft, fleece blanket, warmed to just above room temperature and wrapped around their shoulders.
Creating a fun, soothing, sensory focused at-home spa is a fun and inventive way to have some quality time with the kids! Take some of these great ideas, add in your own and as always have a blast playing with a purpose!
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