Holidays are a truly magical time. The days are very warm, the time is a bit longer and it starts to flow quite lazily. Children have much more freedom in kindergartens. There are no teaching activities anymore, and there is a lot of exercise and outdoor activities. So this is the time when you can easily offer preschoolers sensory games and games. They are perfect for both kindergarten and home. Their main goal is to stimulate the nervous system and help children manage difficult emotions that arise.
- What can we do with our children in this connection?
- Let’s suggest interesting activities that stimulate touch, deep feeling, balance or improve muscle tone. They work great here:
- Obstacle courses – in kindergarten, teachers have professional equipment that facilitates the preparation of this game. At home, you can use, for example, chairs that we place one after the other and ask the child to crawl under them. It’s also a good idea to throw the socks around and ask your child to throw them into the bin with their feet. On the other hand, a folded blanket can be used to make a “log” through which we jump or walk foot by foot;
- Walking on sensory paths – vacation time is the time to go out. This is conducive to walking barefoot on sand or grass and soaking your feet in water. You can also prepare this type of activity at home. We glue stones, artificial grass, sponges, a piece of a doormat or carpet on the shoe drainers and a great help. You can always put sand, leaves, cones, groats, etc. into plastic containers. It will also be an interesting experience for children;
- Sensory boxes – put dry pasta, groats, peas into the container and hide the toys in it. The child’s task is to find them;
- Playing with water – place two bowls and pour warm water into one and cold water into the other. Then throw some toys inside. The child is to take out items by placing the handles in one container and then in another. It is a great thermal stimulation. You can just as well pour hot and cold water into two bottles, which we then use to massage the baby. Finally, put ice cubes in the bowl with warm water. If we add dyes to them beforehand, they will form ice paints. After taking them out of the bowl, we can paint them on gray paper or technical block;
- Gyms, wrestling, pillow fight, which will improve the feeling of your own body, improve coordination and help build the proper distribution of muscle tone;
- Cooking together, preparing salads, kneading the dough, putting in fruit jars (combined with twisting and unscrewing the jars);
- Spilling games;
- Playing together in the mud or puddle;
- Playing music – preparing instruments on your own, dancing to music, music and movement games, clapping rhythms, etc.
It should also be mentioned that the child can be involved in outdoor activities, in the garden or in cleaning the house. Nothing develops eye-hand coordination like wiping dust from cupboards, hanging laundry and attaching clothes pegs to it, or taking dishes out of the dishwasher. This not only improves the child’s functioning in the sensory area, but is also a great excuse to give the child some household chores, something that he will be responsible for.
So let’s remember that holidays are a great time to have fun together, including the sensory ones. So let’s use what is next to us, let’s show children the world, because thanks to this we influence them gaining new experience and learning about new stimuli. Have fun!!!
Justyna Kapuścińska- Kozakiewicz
Deputy director, sensory integration therapist and hand therapist