Calming activities

Jennifer - posted on 01/06/2011 ( 19 moms have responded )

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My 5 1/2 year old daughter is a sensory seeker and gets overstimulated especially when my other two children get her started. Does anyone have any calming activities that may help her calm down? Her OT and I have tried proprioceptive activities but they don't seem to calm her down.

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Cathy - posted on 10/28/2012

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Chewing gum, jumping on a trampoline, little jobs that require them to lift heavy objects (nothing over 3 to 5 lbs). Push a shopping cart, carry books. These kids have weak upper body streghtth and slouch and appear lazy or tired but they aren't they can't help it. My son is 8 and can't open bottled water. Playing sports is difficult because they have spacial problems. Swimming is a good sport because its an individual sport and water is pressure against their bodies and they have to work hard. Helps there muscles. Riding a bike will take a long time to learn because they have fears do heights, fear of falling. A little scrape is a big deal. Be calm, read up and share advice if something works for you.

Jennifer - posted on 05/07/2012

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I made a therapy swing out of a fabric hammock from Target! I folded it in half, added a strong piece of sturdy rope and two heavy duty carabiners. We toss the rope over a tree branch and attach the carabiners to the loops in the end of the hammock. Instant swing! She loves the motion and has an endless possibility of positions. She hangs out for as long as I let her. Often,I have to coax her out! I believe I've talked my husband into putting a hook in the ceiling when we finish the basement so she can have even more access to it.

Erin - posted on 03/05/2012

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I have a 6 year old son who is a sensory seeker. We have a few different things that tend to help. We have a trampoline in the living room (3 or 4 ft diameter). He jumps every day 500 jumps at a time usually. It also helps to have him run laps or sprints. Pushing on his shoulders, palms or feet also can help. We also brush his arms and legs (10 times each) with as soft-medium short bristled plastic brush (like the sponge brush the maternity ward gave us). We have noticed that regular healthy snacks are mandatory because he acts out more if he is even a little bit hungry. The hardest part is figuring out what works best for your kiddo, it tends to be very individual. Good luck.

Sabrina - posted on 01/17/2011

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i like ashleys ideas, also a cave pillow tent? ocean music with headphones? my son had a bean bag and also did things like quiet walks. we tried ice water, running water, he liked peg boards basically any solo actvity that game feedback. he reclused into tangiograms, dirt piles, cookie dough and we would make cookies and enjoy the smell, the bookstore and even light up spinners and pipe cleaners. he is more of a solitary child and as he gets older he loves art, he recently made me a tiny chair with bottons, we use to paint alot too. its quiet and relfective. he played with popcile sticks building houses and loved lego's and K'neck's. i learned that he really needed a private little space in the house and some quiet time with light effects. I once bought him a lava lamp and even an R2D2 starwars fish tank with fiber optic lights, finally he is a BIG fidget type kid and i bought things like squishy , fuzzy pencil grips and balls. my son also has VERY high anxiety disorder so we started to teach him breathinig techniques. visulization type stuff. this helps him too beacuse he developes self soothing skills that dont need anything extra, they will always be accesable to him. life skills i guess.

Kimberly - posted on 01/14/2011

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Hi my son is 5 and also a sensory seeker and goes through the same with his 2 siblings. He has just started a sensory diet to see if this helps. We went and got him one of those exercise trampolines and he loves that. Also the (kid sandwich) mentioned above works really well for him. He loves water and sand and play dough. He also seems to like the body sock he uses it at school in OT. He gets in it and pretends to be a blue monster which also has helped with the fear of monsters. He loves to swing that is his favorite. We also ise an exercise ball and he sits on it and bounces or we play catch with a small ball. The OT has recommended lots of heavy work around the house. Vaccuming carrying groceries, fill backpack with books and carry around etc. I have read also that ankle weights are good but have not tried that yet.

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Cathy - posted on 10/28/2012

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Oh yeah. Stay away from sugar in everything. Get sugar free syrup, gum, cereal. We give our son sweets but we ration it. Give apples, bananas. Applesauce. I gave my son healthy breakfast and then take flaxseed and put it in the coffee grinder and sprinkle a teaspoon on his cereal. It's hard to get them to eat good and this stuff is gold in nutritional value.

Stephanie - posted on 10/24/2012

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My son uses gum a lot. Sugarless is important, esp since he doesn't do well brushing his teeth. Brushing and joint compressions helped for a while too!

Giuliana - posted on 10/20/2012

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Hi I have a question...how your family reacts to this? my in laws take it personal, that my son doesn't like them...how could be the better aproach to this problem...

How do you explain to them?



Giuliana

Giuliana - posted on 10/20/2012

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Hi I have a question...how your family reacts to this? my in laws take it personal, that my son doesn't like them...how could be the better aproach to this problem...

How do you explain to them?



Giuliana

Giuliana - posted on 10/20/2012

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Hi, my son has 3 and a half and he has sensory processing disorder and music calm him down, put it soft and wait...my son likes instrumental...guitars, or mozart...



All the best...



Giuliana

Melisssa - posted on 03/09/2012

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thank you all for these ideas. My daughter is 2 1/2 and has sensory issues. There are some days that I just do not know what to do.

Annie - posted on 03/05/2012

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Jennifer,

My six year old daughter (who has a twin brother) is very much the same. Her speech therapist has advised us to print out pictures on one 8 x 11 1/2 piece of paper of behaviour you would like to see. I printed out pictures of her with "Listening Ears" "Quiet Body" and "Nice Words." When she is engagin in sensory seeking flailing out of control behaviour show her a picure of the behaviour you would like to see and if she can mimmick that she gets a check mark. After a certain number of check markss she gets rewarded with something (whatever, I give our little girl an M&M). I also am a big believer in "Heavy Work" and my daughter craves it. Our occupational therapist recommended this and it is very very therapeutic. Hope this helps.

Armanda - posted on 01/13/2011

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Hi. My son just turned 3 and has finally started "calming" down. One of his favorite sensory seeking activities was the ball pit. I took a kiddie pool, blew it up, and added in some ball pit balls ( you can get them at the toy store. ) He loved to be burried in the balls and rocked in the pool. We would also hide a small toy in the bottom of the pit, and he would dig around trying to find it. A pillow pile works good for this too. Just pile as many pillows and blankets onto the floor as you can, and let her jump into it, crawl through it, etc. Another good calming sensory activity is beans, rice, and noodles. Pour some beans in a large pan or box. Let your daughter play with it, pour them over her hands, arms, legs, and feet. You can even massage her arms, legs, and back with them. It is very relaxing. If you have an exercise or therapy ball, you can roll it over her back while she is laying on the floor. Swings and bear hugs are great too. Wheelbarrow walks put some good firm pressure on the hands and arms. Do you have any therapy equipment? A trampolene or weighted blanket is great if you can get it. I have also found that gymnastics classes can be very beneficial if you are able to sign up for the. Or a good trip to an inflatable bouncy house. My son can bounce around in those places for a good 4-5 hours and still not be tired! A vibrating teether, chewlery, or spinning toothbrush is good for oral stimulation. If she likes to blow stuff, you can try different kinds of whistles, or maybe a kazoo or harmonica. They have all kinds of neat bubble stuff now, even bubble whistles. I hope this is helpful. Good luck to you!

Ashley - posted on 01/12/2011

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Water. Playing with water in the sink, taking a bath, running the hose over his hands in the summer, etc - he loves anything with water and it is probably the most calming thing we do. Putty has also worked well. Have you done the "kid sandwich"? Or rocking in a blanket? Both of those work wonders for my kid. Sandwich: two cushions one on top one on bottom (I just use my couch cushions). I gently push on the top cushion and give him that weighted feeling. He likes it so much he insists on doing it to me after. When my husband is home we lay him on a comforter and each take an end and pick up both corners on our side - the is like a burrito kind of. Then we gently and calmly swing him back and forth - real slow.

Jennifer - posted on 01/12/2011

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We have already gone through the mouthing stage, the smelling everything stage, and are back to the blowing on everything stage. It seems like just when I get one of those tackled she starts another! :) What do the magna doodle and chalkboards do? I also do the leg massages and I also rub her back she especially likes it when I am drying her hair with a hair dryer. Possibly because of the white noise? Thanks for all the ideas! I have also been working with her therapist for different ideas. I am so happy that we found a great therapist and that she is in the same town that we live in!

Michelle - posted on 01/12/2011

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My 2 year old is a sensory seeker and it's pretty constant. She mouths everything, she has to explore everything with her feet, she rocks, etc. I have to rough house play with her a lot, she loves drawing on a chalkboard or magna doodle. I massage her legs and feet all the time.

Meghan - posted on 01/08/2011

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My son is 2 he is also a sensory seeker. he chews on a vibrating teether, plays games on the iPad, plays on the leap pad, also the aqua doodle and the light doodle (can't remember the name). I know he is younger but these really help him. But, some days and times nothing works.

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