Sensory Diet Plans for School Age Kids
Planning a sensory diet for school age kids
Proprioceptive input (sensations from joints, muscles, and connective tissues that lead to body awareness) can be obtained by lifting, pushing, and pulling heavy objects, including one’s own weight. A child can also stimulate the proprioceptive sense by engaging in activities that push joints together like pushing something heavy or pull joints apart such as hanging from monkey bars.
Jump! Have your child jump on a mini-trampoline or rebounder or play hopscotch.
Push and pull. Have him vacuum, carry books from one room to another, help wash windows or a tabletop, and transfer wet laundry from the washing machine to the dryer.
Vestibular input (the sense of movement, centered in the inner ear). Any type of movement will stimulate the vestibular receptors, but spinning, swinging, and hanging upside down provide the most intense, longest lasting input. If your child has vestibular (movement) sensitivities, please work closely with a sensory smart OT who can help you recognize and prevent signs of nervous system overload.
Get upside down. Have him hang upside down from playground equipment, do somersaults, or ride a loop-de-loop rollercoaster.
Swing and roll. Encourage her to use playground swings and roll down a grassy or snowy hill (which provides good proprioceptive input as well).
Spin. Encourage her to go on amusement park rides that spin and use a Dizzy Disc Jr.
Get in touch with nature. Encourage him to walk barefoot in the grass (avoiding pesticide applications), sand, or dirt. Have him garden and repot indoor plants.
Play dress-up. Encourage play with make-up, face painting, and costumes, putting on a play or making a mini movie with a video camera.
Cook. Preparing foods involves many different textures and temperatures, and will help your child feel more familiar with a variety of foods. Preparing her own dishes may her be more adventurous in trying new foods.
Here is sample sensory diet you can use as a template. If at all possible, work with an OT to help you create a custom sensory diet for your child with sensory issues.
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