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  • Writer's pictureMeagan Veneman

Sensory Activities for Kids During Summer Break

Summer break is the perfect time for children to explore, play, and engage in activities that stimulate their senses. Sensory activities not only provide immense fun but also contribute to the development of various cognitive and motor skills. Summer can also be a time of unstructured and spontaneous activity. Staying proactive about meeting your kiddo's sensory needs will help them make the most of their summer break. Here are some sensory activities for kids to try during summer break.

Morning Routine: Provide deep pressure with snuggles and/or massage while reviewing your schedule (if there is one!) for the day. Talk about things they are looking forward to and the activities that might be more challenging.

Fun sensory activities for kids to incorporate into summer days:

  1. Sensory Water Play: On hot summer days, water play is a fantastic sensory activity that guarantees hours of fun. Set up a water table or fill up containers with water, and let the kids splash, pour, and explore. Add different textures such as sponges, water beads, or ice cubes to enhance the sensory experience. Incorporate measuring cups, funnels, and water wheels to introduce basic math and science concepts.

  2. Nature Scavenger Hunt: Take advantage of the pleasant weather and plan a nature scavenger hunt. Create a list of items for kids to find, such as leaves, flowers, rocks, or specific colors. Encourage them to touch and feel different textures, smell flowers, and listen to the sounds of nature. This activity not only stimulates their senses but also fosters a deeper connection with the environment.

  3. Sensory Art: Do sensory art projects that involve different materials and textures. Set up an outdoor art station with items like finger paints, chalk, clay, or sand. Let their creativity flow as they explore different mediums using their hands, brushes, or natural objects like leaves and twigs. This hands-on experience helps refine fine motor skills and promotes self-expression.

  4. DIY Sensory Bins: Sensory bins are versatile and can be tailored to specific themes or interests. Fill a large container or tray with materials like rice, pasta, kinetic sand, or dried beans. Add small toys, scoops, and containers to encourage imaginative play. For added sensory input, include scented items or textured objects like feathers or fabric swatches. Sensory bins provide opportunities for tactile exploration and help children develop fine motor skills.

  5. Outdoor Obstacle Course: Create a backyard obstacle course using various sensory elements. Include stations where children need to crawl under a tarp, jump over pillows, balance on a beam, or navigate through a pool filled with soft balls. Incorporate sensory stations such as buckets filled with water or bins of foam shapes that they can interact with along the way. This activity promotes gross motor skills, coordination, and body awareness.

Evening Routine: A warm bath or shower can help to calm the nervous system. Follow that with deep pressure massage using lavender lotion or essential oils. Chat about what went well today and what was challenging.

Engaging children in sensory activities during summer break offers a multitude of benefits, including fostering creativity, improving motor skills and helping with self-regulation. By being proactive, you can ensure that your kids have an enjoyable and stimulating summer break. Happy playing!

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