Our 1 yo has been diagnosed with SPD and described as "hyperactive." So we have him in OT and his therapists have been recommended various things for a "sensory diet." The more I learn about SPD, the more I suspect my 5 yo might be affected in some ways. He is starting to show signs of being diagnosed with ADHD when he hits kindergarten.
To avoid the meds and the behaviors increasing, I'm starting him on a GFCF diet, but suspect he may benefit from a sensory diet as well.
I'm trying to come up with ideas and am failing... I could set up a water table outside. I love the idea of scooping/filling/etc activities in bins with rice or beans or sand but the 1 yo will eat them if I'm not careful (and I'd love to have some activities he can do without me supervising closely) and the 5 yo will just fling the stuff everywhere. Same thing with things like shaving cream.
Everything I have found online involves something that sounds great, but in reality I know will not turn out well. The 1 yo can't even use play dough without trying to eat it or fling it around. There is no therapeutic benefit to him the way he uses it, v. the way the therapists assume he will.
Any ideas that won't make more of a mess of my house than it is already, that are safe for a 1 yo to do without me in arm's reach, and that will actually benefit the kids' needs for input?
I've been mulling over your post.
Have you read the out of sync child yet? I really consider it a must read for sensory issues.
There are different kinds of sensory play, and all the things you list are of the same kind. Another thing you could think about is stuff your kids could play on, such as a short slide, without much help from you.
You could also work on a basket of items that could be exploder and put in the mouth but aren't messy -- such as teeters with different textures, small stuff animals that are washable and have different textures, etc.. You could take some of these and get them wet and freeze them. These would need to be washed afterward. But if you let the children play with them once a day and then pick them up and clean them, then it could be set up as an activity they could do on their own.
The kinds of things you list are GREAT and you could think of them as something to do once a day for 30-60 minutes with your kids, and then clean up from afterwards. For those things, I think it might help to be realistic about how much time a day is really right *for you* and then make that amount of time a daily goal. For a while when my DD was small, I made it a goal to spend 60 minutes a day with her on sensory stuff, and it made a big difference for her. It really doesn't have to be every minute of the day.
I can think of a lot more ideas for your 5 year old, but the one year old is hard. May be others will have more ideas.
but everything has pros and cons
Thanks, Linda. I have the book out of the library now, and am trying to read it every chance I can get, b/c it's not renewable (i.e., on reserve for the next 6 months!). I am waiting for its companion, "The Out of Sync Child Has Fun...." I love the idea of the textured teethers and animals for the little one.
ANY ideas for either of them are more than welcome! The more I read up on stuff for the little one, the more "symptoms" I see in the 5 year old. Tonight at dinner, he nearly fell out of his chair for no reason. He cannot go past ANYTHING without touching it, if not destroying it. He has started getting into trouble at preschool for pushing/poking classmates during circle time. He bangs his head on anything he can, whenever he can. At "quiet time" he stands at the foot of the bed and slams his body down onto the mattress like it's a wrestling mat. And he won't do organized sports, like karate or gymnastics, so the physical energy outlet is limited. (I am working on getting him back to doing something like that for the discipline, but he has been resistant, probably because it's too hard for him to stay focused.)
Now that it's nice out, they're getting a lot of outside time, which is great, and the baby is finding ways to get his energy out on his own, which also is great. But it won't be long before it's too hot to be out and we're going to have a cabin fever issue in the afternoons while I'm trying to get dinner together. That's the time of day I most need to have them occupied with something that doesn't require more supervision than a glance here and there from the other side of the kitchen.
Contact paper is good for no mess tactile stimulation. You can tape it on the floor and let them walk over it, or maybe integrate it into an obstacle course / game of hopscotch with bubble wrap, frozen metal trays, cushions, sandpaper, whatever. Some of the messier activities like shaving cream might also work better in the shower, then turn on the water when it's time to clean up. We also play with ice in the bath a lot--different colors, flavors, different things frozen into it. Good luck!
Your five year old sounds a ton like my son. He is almost 6 and has Aspergers and SPD. We have been seeing an OT for almost a year and found somethings that work for him. He is a constant crasher, we have got a big bean bag and he will jump from the couch and crash into it all day. We do deep pressure, basically have a big yoga ball, some what deflated so it doesn't roll away and I put pressure on the ball and roll it over him "we call it being put in the juicer" You can also do some pillows and then make them into a sandwhich and lay on them for some input. I know it may sound stange but my son's body dosen;t recieve enough input, he enjoys all these activities and is now asking for them daily. We aslo do "heavy work" hauling in wood for the wood stove, racing a clothes basket full of wet clean laundry around the house. we do time trials, it a fun game for him. He has a weighted blanket that he will also use for deep pressure.
For the one year old, what about sensory play with pureed food? We use to puree food up for "finger paint" and set them up outside on the picnic table in blobs on big cookie sheet, when it was all over we would all just spray down with a hose and get some water play in at the same time. My three year old still put things in her mouth se we also had to move away from the bean bin, but I had some whole nuts, (the kind still in the shell) and the last few days she has been washing them in a basin.
Oh and foil paper, not tin foil but the kind you use to wrap a present or stuff a gift bag, it shines, and makes a fun nosie, they would play with it for hours. also diffferent textured cloth, silky, rough, soft, smooth, you can usually find unusal remnants at the fabric store at a discounted price.
tiny hand held bean bags. Washing "dishes" at the sink, this use to drive me nuts, but I finally got a big vinly table cloth for when the kids want to wash dishes and put it on the floor below the sink with some bath towels on to catch the flood. I'm doing laundry contantly from mopping up a water mess but at least it gives me a little time to get something done.
I'm still quite new to these sort of things, I read the out of sync child a couple of months back and there were defiantly parts which resonated with me. I think I need to go back and read it again though, it's a lot to take in in one reading. Maybe you should put another hold on it at the library if there is already a long list :lol
DS likes rocking & swings. If we go to a park with swings he'll spend ages on them. At home we don't have room for one but he likes his bilibo http://www.bilibo.com/en/enter/default.aspx, he would spin & rock in that for quite a while when he was younger.
We used to have a couple of kiddies DVDs with action songs, getting out some silky scarves or instruments and putting one of those on to dance always got me a bit of free time too. As he's got older he's got qute into some of the sports and dance games on the wii too. They allow him to burn off a bit of energy in a relatively controlled way.
You know, the kids all love to dance when DH puts music on. I bet they'd love a kid-oriented video that they can follow! Any recommendations? I tried borrowing CDs from the library and all I came out with were duds. Really horrible, annoying, and not-compelling stuff.
We're in the UK and one of the bbc kids channels had a show called boogie beebies which they liked. At the time I had a few episodes taped but I think there are a few on you tube. I think the DVD we had was a tumble tots one.
I know what you mean about some of the kids music CDs though, ughhh we've had some I can't bear to put on.
The last one does one of my favorite songs of all time, kid or otherwise, about a mustache and beard getting into trouble. Dancing is great therapy.
Hello there! So glad you asked about this, sensory diet activities are exactly what i just signed into mothering to look for :)
love the exercise ball idea!
Action songs have been great for my 2.5yr old with SPD
my little sensory-seeker loves to dance to songs with actions too - i know tv isnt ideal but when we need to be making dinner at a hot stove or chopping veggies and not have them crashing into our knees (!) - if you have netflix - there's a kids group called 'the laurie berkner band' - its just the three musicians playing their lovely non-annoying kids songs with great actions ("we are the dinosaurs STOMPING STOMPING") and it has been great for my sons (delayed) language development as we sing the songs and do the actions together and the actions meet his sensory needs- now we know them off by heart we can have a dance party without the tv on now too :)
all the best!