With the fall season in full-swing, there are so many ways to get your child engaged in a variety of sensory experiences. This season brings about so many changes; from the weather, falling leaves, fresh harvests, warmer clothing, to the time that the sun sets. Allowing children to explore the elements of their surroundings helps them = engage each of their senses, which in turn helps them process and make sense of the world around them. Understanding the differences that come along with each season will help your child learn about change over the course of the year.

Say Yes to the Mess

A child’s job is to play and, guess what? They LEARN through play. Learning through play does not only mean playing with toys. It means allowing your child to play with food, too. Why is this important? It is important because eating is one of the most complex activities we do as humans. It involves ALL of our senses-sight, smell, touch, sound, and taste and even our “hidden sense” of proprioception as we grade how much force to use when grasping food. There are 2 other “hidden senses” in addition to proprioception (vestibular, interoceptive) that are also involved, but we can save talking about those in more detail for another day. By allowing your child opportunities to play with and explore a variety of foods, the more you are EXPOSING them to the sensory aspects of the food. Over time, EXPOSURE leads to ACCEPTANCE.

Fine Motor Activities for SUMMER

Summer is here! Overcome the summer slide and create fun learning experiences for kids by incorporating sensory and fine motor play. I listed a few of my favorite summer activities that I have incorporated into my OT sessions. Ice painting, paper towel tie dye, and spray bottle painting!

Gross Motor Activities for SUMMER

School’s out for summer! You might be wondering how to find balance between work and your

child’s free time. Here are some physical activities to burn that unused energy while addressing

your child’s motor planning, bilateral coordination, body awareness, and safety awareness!

Tips and Tricks for Summer with kids who have Sensory Processing difficulties

For many kids summertime is full of exciting experiences from the sand on the beach to the

fireworks on the fourth of July however certain summertime experiences can be challenging for

kids with sensory processing difficulties. A messy ice cream cone, a loud amusement park, or an

unfamiliar playground could be overwhelming to a child who may have certain sensitives to

sensory stimuli. With some preparation and planning, you can help make summertime enjoyable

and fun for your child with sensory processing difficulties.

Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)

Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) is a condition that affects how your brain processes sensory stimuli. Children with SPD will either overreact or under-react to sensory stimuli. There are 3 major patterns of SPD including Sensory Modulation Disorder (SMD), Sensory-Based Motor Disorder (SBMD), and Sensory Discrimination Disorder (SDD).

What is Ayres Sensory Integration®?

Sensory integration is essential for everyday function. It refers to the ability to receive, process, organize, and respond adaptively to information received through our senses. The integration of the various sensory systems contributes to higher-level functions (Ayres, 1979). In addition, efficient sensory integration contributes to the development of motor functions, such as praxis, bilateral integration, and postural and ocular control (Schaaf & Mailloux, 2015). Thus, when a child experiences challenges with sensory integration, it may impact participation in a variety of daily activities.

Benefits of Yoga for Children

Practicing yoga has countless benefits for your child. Yoga can help develop the

physical body by increasing strength, balance, and coordination, while also benefiting

your child’s mental well being by supporting emotional regulation and boosting their

self-esteem. One of the best things about yoga is how accessible it can be! There are

tons of free classes and resources online, and with just five minutes of yoga per day you

could start to see some benefits.

Living a “Sensory Rich” Lifestyle

What are some of the things that you do daily, in order to keep yourself engaged and focused during the day? Do you need to have a mid-day snack, coffee, or walk? Do you journal everyday or participate in yoga or breathwork? What about participating in a weight lifting or cycling routine? Are you a baker or cook? The above mentioned activities are actually all common methods that people use to self-regulate!

Sensory Bins!

Sensory bins are beneficial tools that provide children with the opportunity to learn and explore through tactile play. They can be made out of containers or tubs and are filled with specific items and materials that excite multiple senses at once. Sensory bins can be used as individual play to help a child become focused or during group play to allow children to improve their social and play skills.