Its sometimes difficult to keep all the kids entertained and meet all their individual needs and wants. I’ve jotted down some of the things I liked to do when the kids were younger.
Hopefully you will find something to do!
SMELLY PAINTING! – Scratch-and-sniff painting appeals to kids’ visual, tactile, and olfactory (smell) senses. Choose a few flavours of Jelly that your children like the look or smell of. Mix them up – use separate pots for each colour – add the jelly crystals, water and glue in equal measures. Then let them be creative on thick card such as cereal and laundry boxes. When the picture is dry the child can then rub it and it will smell of the jelly!
Finger painting is a great activity for sensory seekers. Just give your child an apron, a roll of lining paper and some finger paints. Then set him loose!
Heres how to do it cheaply
Stir 4 tablespoons of sugar and 1/2 cup corn starch together. Add 2 cups of cold water and heat over medium heat until the mixture is thick (the mixture will further thicken as it cools).
Divide into four or more containers, and add food colouring as desired.
If your child is does not like “messy play” or is tactile defensive then you can try this to encourage more exploration to new textures. You can also appeal to his sense of smell by using a variety of squishy foods to “paint” on a cookie sheet. For example, you may want to try using ketchup, chocolate pudding, yogurt or cinnamon.
Play-Dough is a great activity to strengthen fine motor skills. It can also reduce frustration and may appeal to kids who like to touch things. Try hiding small objects in a ball of dough for your child to find, or challenge him to roll the dough into a ball or make a “pinch pot.”
If like me you dislike the smell of playbough you can easily make your own. Its also a lot cheaper!
How to make playdough
2 cups all-purpose flour.
3/4 cup salt.
4 teaspoons cream of tartar.
2 cups lukewarm water.
2 Tablespoons of vegetable oil (coconut oil works too)
Food colouring, optional.
Make your own sensory boxes -Many kids like to play in sand and water. And creating tabletop sandboxes is an easy way to combine the two. Plus it’s a simple solution for space and storage. You can use your child’s soothing “ingredient” of choice, whether it’s sand, water, rice, dry beans, beads or even shaving cream.Pour the ingredient into a shoebox-size plastic storage container with a lid. Add some plastic spoons, cups and small toys, too. Scooping, pouring, and burying are all part of the sensory experience. For older kids you could try jewellery beads, sticky foam balls, magnets etc – anything at all and it can be made to look age appropriate.
Puzzles – sorting games and puzzles can be good to sit and be calm and do something together it can be a good choice for great for kids who tend to get overexcited. If you don’t have puzzles to hand have the kids make them for each other out of old catalogs; comics or anything else that you don’t mind being cut up!
Dancing – For kids who need more sensory input and don’t like quiet or stationary games, try a simple dance party. It can appeal to your child’s need for visual and auditory stimulation. Put together a kid-friendly playlist, turn up the tunes and let him dance. Office Dance Party is normally a good one as it has all the “Cheesy Actions Songs” eg YMCA; the venga bus; Gangham style etc