Sensory Solutions: Easy Sensory Activities for Better Behaviors

Sensory Solutions: Easy Sensory Activities for Better Behaviors

Sensory Solutions: Easy Sensory Activities for Better Behaviors

Sensory activities that help organize the vestibular and proprioceptive senses

 

Sensory actvities can help your child gain confidence and improve behavior. Especially if they are struggling with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) or sensory sensitivities. But sensory activities that engage the proprioceptive sense and vestibular sense can be beneficial for all children.

The following easy sensory activities help develop the vestibular and proprioceptive senses. The vestibular sense is where your balance comes from. It helps you know where your head is in relation to your body and the earth. The proprioceptive sense is how you know how to move your body. It helps your muscles, tendons and joints know how to move, with how much force and at what speed.

The below sensory activities can help engage and integrate your child’s vestibular and proprioceptive senses. And that leads to better functioning, calm bodies and less behavior challenges.

 

Indoor Sensory Activities:

  • Eat applesauce or yogurt thru a straw
  • Vacuum (if your child does not have auditory sensitivities)
  • Carry grocery bags into the house
  • Flop on the bed
  • Press hands (or any body part) against the wall with all your strength for 10 seconds, take a quick break and then repeat
  • Walk like various animals (crab walk, bear walk, frog jump, etc.)
  • Use an old tennis ball and have your child wrap rubber bands around it twice. (This also makes a good fidget for a child to play with.)
  • Have your child balance a moderately heavy book on their head

Outdoor Sensory Activities:

  • Swing Set: Hold up a target for your child to kick/push against as they swing forward.
  • Swing Set: Have your child lay facing down on the swing seat and twirl themselves in one direction. Then have them let go and unwind.
  • Swing Set: Have your child lay facing down on the swing seat and wind themselves up in one direction. Before they begin to unwind have them spread their arms and legs into a star position. As they unwind, ask them to go from a star to crossing their arms and feet (like a figure skater does in the air) and then back to a star position.
  • Swing Set: Have your child push you or another child on the swing set
  • Teeter-Totter: Have your child walk from one end to the other
  • Teeter-Totter: Have your child stand, straddling the middle of the teeter totter and rock back and forth from side to side
  • Use a paper bag closed at both ends so it resembles a ball of air and let your child kick it around.
  • Rolling like a log in the grass or down a hill

 

How Do Sensory Activities Help Improve Behaviors?

 

A calm body leads to better behaviors. So a way to help your child have better behaviors is to help them calm their body. And sensory activities, particularly ones that stimulate the proprioceptive sense, calm the body.

Think of proprioceptive activities as “heavy work”. Heavy work is when you put steady pressure on your muscles and joints, typically through pushing or pulling motions. This pressure helps to calm the nervous system. And a calm nervous system helps to calm the brain. And a calm brain is better able to listen, cooperate, and problem solve. All of which can reduce challenging behaviors in your child.