Sensational Saturday! Sensory Play Activities for Kids with Sensory Differences

My sensational little SPD kiddo craves proprioceptive and vestibular input constantly.  Below are some examples of sensory diet activities that help his body get the input he craves, and that helps him self regulate. 

This is a ball pit at IJ's school. He gets in and lays  in it - covered by plastic balls.  He enjoys getting in a ball pit whenever he can. This  is one of his sensory retreats. 

Bungee Jumping - vestibular input for the joints!  He loves climbing, crashing, jumping, swinging, spinning.  Besides the local park, he LOVES the bungee jump place at the mall….he has a frequent jumper card! 

Squish Box 
This can be any large container (storage container, box, basket)  lined and stuffed with pillows, comforters, etc.  This provides a Sensory Retreat - a comfy, warm, safe place to get deep pressure and relax. Here IJ is playing a preschool game on Dad's Kindle and enjoying the cushiony squish!

Other sensory diet activities we utilize to give IJ a good stream of input are:

Indoor swing from Ikea
  • Jumping on a mini trampoline  (Vestibular input)
  • Rolling on and bouncing on Large and Medium Yoga Balls  (Vestibular input)
  • Therapy/Exercise bands for pulling (Heavy Work)
  • Blowing bubbles / Bubble mountain (using long straw, blowing bubbles in a pot in the sink, tub or outdoors until the bubbles overflow) - (Oral Motor)
  • Chewy toys for oral motor input, or chewing hard snacks like bagels, pretzels
  • Blanket - for rolling up like a burrito, making forts…provides sensory retreat
  • Crab walking, push ups, dance party. 
  • Bean bag chair for sinking down in for deep pressure/sensory retreat
These are just a few things. I could probably come up with a dozen more things we do and that I.J. enjoys.  He also loves very splashy water play (we need a 100% waterproof bathroom!!) , loves sliding down the stairs and bumping along the way, digging in dirt and sand. He loves art. 

I.J. is heavy sensory seeker. He does have some sensory defensiveness too though. He sometimes get overwhelmed in some places that are noisy, sometimes outdoors if it is too windy and bright, or if other kids get too close/into his personal space and these situations can cause meltdowns.  He likes his shoes tight (or on the wrong feet on purpose), his clothes with no tags, to sleep with AT LEAST 8 blankets (year round, lol), long sleeve shirts.  He likes wearing headphones sometimes but after awhile can't stand them touching his ears. He could wear a hoodie with the hood up, however, all day if you let him (sensory retreat I guess). He can't stand to have his fingernails or toenails cut (but chews his fingernails a lot to get oral sensory input). He loves frequent bear hugs and to be patted firmly on the back. He loves for us to swing him between us when out walking. He is a daredevil and at 4 years old, rides his bike over the uneven sidewalk like a ramp and tries to ride with no hands!

What are your sensory kiddo's favorite activities or sensory toys? What are his/her funny sensory quirks? (Aka the things that make them adorable and while it sometimes exhausts you - makes you laugh and love them all the more!)

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