The occupational therapists at Child and Family Development recommend “SENSOR-CISE” during summer vacations!
- SUMMER SAULTS: This is a fun activity for the pool, lake or beach. For a young child, face each other standing up. Take his hands and have him “walk” up your legs. When his feet reach your waist, have him tip his head way back and flip his feet and bottom through your arms and over his head. Loosen your grip on his hands so they can rotate in yours, as he turns up and over. It is important that this activity is done in water and deep enough that he will not hit his head and with a child who can tolerate putting his head under water. An older child can do somersaults by himself in the water. Have him count how many somersaults he can do in one breath or in one minute.
- JUMP AND SPIN: This activity can also be done in the water. Position the child in the water where he can touch the bottom and have him jump and spin in circles.
- SPINNING: Take the child by the hands and spin him in the water and go around in circles. For a younger child, hold him closer to your body and spin him and yourself in circles together.
- FAIR/ AMUSEMENT PARK RIDES: Rollercoaster rides with quick turns and upside down loops are good for quick vestibular stimulation.
- PARKS: Parks are full of movement activities. Have your child swing, go down the slides in different positions and go on the merry-go-round.
- DIVING BOARD: This is a great activity for advanced swimmers. The child can try jumping and twisting off of the board.
- SUITCASES: Carrying a suitcase, beach bag, purse or diaper bag (or other heavy container) is a good proprioceptive task.
- DIGGING: Have the child either with his hands or a shovel dig in the wet sand or water to build sand castles.
- POURING: Bring to the pool or beach/ lake several containers in which the child can pour water from one container into another. Encourage the child to hold the container that he is pouring from and the one is pouring into.
- PUSHING: Have your child move a beach chair or lounge chair through the sand or grass to another location.
- SAND FUN: Bury your child in the sand with his head out. This activity would not be appropriate for a child with tactile defensiveness.
- WALKING IN THE WATER: Have your child walk in the water to go get an object or go for a walk in the tide at the beach.
- HANDSTAND: Have the child do a handstand in the water and see how long he can hold it before coming up for air.
Learn more about occupational therapy services here.
Additional sensory diet recommendations are provided in a home program by an occupational therapist.