There are several activities you can try at home for your child with tactile sensitivities. When engaging your child in these activities, it is important to start off slow and NEVER force your child to participate. It’s also important to note that any child’s sensory system will benefit from these activities, whether defensive or not.
- Rub lotion on your child’s arms and legs or let them rub it on you. Try singing a favorite song to distract them.
- Rub different textures on your child’s arms, legs, and back, such as fur, terry cloth, sponges, the soft side of velcro, etc.
- Encourage your child to play in bins of sand, rice, beans, beads, or other textures.
- Play in dough or putty. Have them pull, squeeze, roll, etc.
- Put shaving cream, lotion or pudding on a large piece of aluminum foil or cookie sheet and have your child draw pictures or write his/her name. Be sure to have them get both hands messy!
- Draw numbers/letter on your child’s back and have him identify them. You can make it multiple choice or yes/no questions (is this a 2 or a 5?).
- Activities with physical contact are also great! Piggyback rides, wrestling, bear hugs, petting animals, etc.
- Have your child identify objects with his/her eyes closed – comb, keys, block, marble, coin, shapes, etc.
- Provide activities that provide tactile input on the child’s entire body, such as a kiddie pool full of styrofoam peanuts, soft pillows, balls, etc.
- You could also spend a few extra minutes after bath time to vigorously rub your child with a towel, or guide them in doing so.
Have fun and be creative, and get messy with your child!