Sensory-Friendly Activities for Summer

sensory, special needs

Children who have sensory disorders want to enjoy summer fun, too, and it’s important to ensure they are as comfortable as possible and engaged.

“Children who have sensory disorders want to fully experience activities alongside their peers and with proper accommodations, this is entirely possible,” said Leaha Jones, a manager with Memorial Behavioral Health. “While some children thrive while engaging in activities in the community, others may prefer more home-based experiences.”

Here are some ideas for sensory-friendly at-home summer activities:

  1. Make a plan. Create a plan for the day’s activities in writing and share it verbally to help avoid any anxiety about the day’s schedule.
  2. Avoid common summer nuisances. Apply sunscreen and bug spray to avoid sunburn and bites, and ensure you have enough water and healthy snacks for outdoor activities.
  3. Paint your world. From puffy sidewalk chalk to shaving cream and food coloring, there are plenty of artistic activities that you can do outdoors at home.
  4. No obstacle to fun. Create an obstacle course in your backyard using what you have available and make it a fun activity for the whole family.
  5. Play ball. Enjoy simple sports activities like catch, kickball, rolling or bouncing and make it an interactive activity.
  6. Bubble the day away. Whether you have purchased bubbles and wands, or you fill containers with soapy water and use toys you have at home, bubbles are enjoyable and engaging for kids.

“If your family is looking to get out of the house, many venues advertise sensory-friendly days or times that allow for children with special needs to fully experience the activity in a quieter, calmer environment,” Jones said. “Look for children’s museums, art centers or zoos and inquire ahead about their accommodations for children with special needs.”

Need support?

Learn more about the child and adolescent behavioral health services at Memorial Behavioral Health, including individualized therapeutic services.

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