Indoor Sensory Play Ideas for the Winter Months
During the winter kids are indoors more often, which can wreak havoc for parents trying to keep them occupied. For children with special needs or a Sensory Processing Disorder, time inside the home can be over-stimulating, which can cause such behaviors as fighting with siblings, refusing to eat or an inability to stay calm. Avoid behavior overload with these indoor sensory play ideas with the Happy Bowl.
Indoor Snowball Fight: If your kids need to get their wiggles out, this is the game for them! The Indoor Snowball Fight (SnowtimeAnytime.com) is a sensory game that includes 6 soft and safe snowballs that crunch like a real snowball. This is great for indoor play (in an area without breakables, of course) and the game includes fun and challenging ideas like throwing snowballs blindfolded! I also like to use the snowballs as decorations when the kids are all worn out. They display well on mantels, in playrooms or in a decorative basket for the winter holidays. I also use them in feeding therapy for a fun sensory break after trying new foods. Enjoy a frostbite free snowball fight with your kids!
Water Beads: These versatile beads provide the ultimate sensory experience and they can be used in schools, therapy settings or in-home! When you purchase the beads (autismcommunitystore.com) they come dry, but they expand when they are placed in water. Since I provide in-home therapy, I transport the beads in a zip lock bag and then transfer them into a large container. The beads shrink back down to their original size when they dry up!
Note - these non-toxic beads are a choking hazard, so I only use this sensory toy with older children or with adult supervision.
Frozen Toys: Teaching children the concept of freezing and melting can be tricky. One way to illustrate this concept is to show them how a tiny snowman freezes and melts. All you have to do is have your child fill the Happy Bowl with a couple of inches of water. Next, add some snowman parts (baby carrot, eyes, buttons) and then place it in the freezer. When you take it out for sensory play, have them melt the block of ice with the heat from their hands or break the ice with kid-safe kitchen utensils. They will be excited to see the snowman slowly thaw before their eyes!
How do you keep your kids occupied during the winter months? What are some of your family’s favorite sensory games and activities? #sensory #happybowl #ezpzfun
Dawn Winkelmann, M.S, CCC-SLP
Speech Language Pathologist & Feeding Specialist for ezpz
Dawn Winkelmann (M.S, CCC-SLP) is ezpz’s Pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist and Feeding Specialist. She has 26 years of experience teaching parents and medical professionals how to start babies on solids safely and encourage toddlers to overcome picky eating. In addition, “Ms. Dawn” is the designer of our award-winning Tiny Cup & Tiny Spoon (for infants) and the Mini Cup + Straw Training System & Mini Utensils (for toddlers).