If you’re a parent of a child with Sensory Processing Disorder, you know that sometimes you have to think outside the box in regards to activities that will keep them busy and entertained.
Sensory Play Crafts
Crafts are no exception. There are many crafts that may require far too much concentration to be enjoyable for a child with SPD.
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Instead of diving into a time-consuming craft, look for something that involves a lot of sensory stimulation depending on their individual needs.
Each child has different sensory tanks to fill (as we describe it), so choose based on what works best for them.
Thankfully, there are many crafts and ideas nowadays that can work to fit the bill.
Natural Sensory Beads
This is a craft that children of all ages will enjoy. You may even find yourself sitting down with your child and trying it out for yourself.
Edible sensory beads do not have to be eaten, but if your child is tempted to put things in their mouth, then these are a safe alternative. Other similar forms of sensory play may not contain the safest ingredients.
Simply collect as many cups of water that you want for beads and add an equal number of tablespoons of Chia seeds.
You can use (natural) food coloring in the water to brighten up the beads if you like. And, for more than one color, simply make more than one batch in separate bowls.
Once you’ve mixed the ingredients, set the bowl(s) in the fridge overnight and they will be ready by morning.
Your child can enjoy endless play while mixing the beads and swirling them around with their hands.
This is another great craft that is safe for children who simply cannot help but taste everything they see.
Brightly colored edible slime is a fascinating craft for kids. They will spend hours taking in the colors and working the slime through their hands.
For each color desired, mix one tablespoon of Metamucil with one cup of water, and a few drops of your preferred food coloring.
You can even add ¼ package of Kool-Aid powder if you want a fruity scent.
In a large microwave safe bowl, whisk together the ingredients.
Microwave the mixture for 3-6 minutes on high. Keep an eye on it as the Metamucil tends to rise when heated. You might need to pause the cycle and let it settle before continuing.
Use caution when removing from the microwave due to the hot mixture inside.
Stir the slime but do not handle until it has completely cooled.
Print the recipe below so you’ll have it handy!
This is a real crowd-pleaser for all ages and can ideal for a child with tactile sensory needs.
This is a classic activity that will never grow old. Finger paint is the perfect activity for a child who does not wish to be contained to using a paintbrush.
Who wants to do their own thinking outside the box?
Finger painting offers the chance to be creative, which is a strong point of many SPD children. It also offers a satisfying sensory experience that will help calm your child when they need their tank filled.
Sensory children often love to solve puzzles (or at least I know our daughter does).
Mosaics offer a puzzle-like experience without the confines of a regular puzzle. They can be bought in small sets and put together, bought in packages as a way to create your own design, or you can simply make your own with tissue paper.
Mosaic crafts also help build concentration, and perhaps a little patience, in your child.
Although traditional crafts can be exasperating to a child with sensory needs, there are many alternatives to choose from.
Creativity is a natural strong point of children in general. It also allows your sensory child to do activities that are structured enough to challenge them, but allows them to be successful with their finished work.
By using a little creativity of your own, your child can have access to hours and hours of fun.
- 1 tbsp Metamucil Powder
- 1 cup Water
- Kool-Aid Powder (optional)
- Food coloring (optional)
- Large microwave-safe bowl
- Mix one tablespoon of Metamucil with one cup of water. Add optional ingredients as well.
- Microwave on high for 3-6 minutes. Watch for overflow during cooking process.
- Use caution when removing bowl.
- Stir and let completely cool before handling.
- Enjoy sensory play with slime!
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