By Nicole Davis
Twinkling lights, rustling paper, special scents and sounds…the most wonderful time of year provides a multitude of opportunities to do some stimulating, sensory activities with your child. Here are a few ideas…
FESTIVE LIGHTS ACTIVITIES
Christmas lights are simply the best and we’re sure your child agrees. Under close supervision, they can provide some beautiful sensory moments…
Why not create a blanket fort in your living room with a string of indoor- safe festive lights strung throughout the inside? Cuddle up inside with some pillows and share a festive story.
If you can find a plastic jar that’s big enough, a set of battery operated lights inside the jar can provide hours of fun and stimulation.
Would your child love to sleep under some twinkling lights? You could string some strands of lights across their ceiling in a criss cross pattern (use hooks or strong tape) – just make sure you unplug them once your child is asleep for extra safety!
CANDY CANE SCENTED SENSORY RICE
For this activity you’ll need:
- 2 cups uncooked white rice (1 cup for colouring red and the other for leaving white)
- Red food colouring
- 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
- Sealable plastic bag
- Put 1 cup of white rice in a bag with red food colouring and a drop of food colouring. Seal and squish and sake so that all the grains are red.
- Once coloured spread the rice on a tray to dry.
- Once dry add the rice to a bin/container. Add the white rice and play!
You can add an extra festive twist by hiding red, green and white Christmas buttons and any another Christmas odds and ends you have among the buttons for your child to search for. This provides a nice fine motor work out too.
CHRISTMAS CUTTING TRAY
Another way to work on your child’s fine motor skills with a Christmas theme is to provide them with a tray of seasonal material that can be snipped to their hearts’ content. Think cut-offs of wrapping paper, tinsel, ribbon, Christmas themed material and washi tape! Take this activity to the next level by grabbing some glue and creating a collage with the resulting snipped pieces.
Cooking with your kids is a wonderful way to work on fine motor skills and speech while providing a sensory, tactile experience. We love this yummy way of changing up the use of cookie cutters for mini pizzas. Keep things simple by buying pre-prepared dough for the base and then decorate with the toppings of your choice. Allow your kids to twist off, kneed and roll-out the dough as well as cut out and decorate the shapes for some extra finger and hand-based therapy!
FESTIVE FRUIT PLATE
Entice your child to eat more fruit with a decorated tree-themed creation! All you need are kiwis, berries and a bit of creativity. You could create the main tree for them and then have your child do the decorating.
CHRISTMAS TREE APP
This is an adorable and stimulating way for your child to celebrate the festive season on the iPad. Decorate your tree with a huge assortment of ornaments. Stage it in the perfect environment with your favourite photo. Then relax in joyous delight to realistic animated snow, shimmery animated lights, and your favourite holiday songs. With over 221 ornaments, trinkets, toppers, gifts, ribbons, and more to create your own jingly and jolly Christmas tree experience over the holidays. Download here.