It’s summer again, and that means for a lot of our families it’s time to find some indoor activities where we can beat the heat!
Here is a quick list of inexpensive (sometimes messy) ideas for sensory friendly fun at the house:
Have y’all heard of orbeez yet? They’re easy fun.
Grab a bucket, get some scoopers, ladles, measuring cups and whatever else you want to add to the growing water beads. I’ve seen people fill up whole kiddie pools with them. Is it an indoor activity? Yes. Would you might want to consider having fun with these outside in the shade instead? You might. They do tend to get loose from their containers in the fun, but the good news is that they dry out and can be vacuumed right up.
This one isn’t hard, but you need a few items:
Glue. Baking Soda. Water. Shaving Cream. Contact Solution (this is what makes it fluffly). Food coloring is optional if you want to be fancy with it.
All you do is mix these together- we used a big storage container and a spatula. Let the kids take turns stirring and watch the fluff begin. There are a few different websites with tutorials for making fluffy slime, but the easiest way might be to follow along with a youtube video so you get the steps in order.
Scavenger hunts- these can always be adapted to meet special needs. As a teacher, I’ve taken my school kids on hunts through our classroom and around our whole school. You can record what you find as you go (like little investigators) with a notepad or by taking pictures with a phone. And the best part- it can end with a reward, and you can set the reward to what you want! Some junk food and some homemade ‘movie tickets’ for an at-home theater experience.
Pretend or real-life library day.
Libraries don’t get near enough credit in 2022. They often host summer activities or have special reading hours in the summertime, but if you aren’t trying to spend gas money by going out into the public, you can create your own library at home. The kids can decorate their own library cards. If you have some books and magazines to create a library set up, they can check out the books of their choice and go read them in cozy areas throughout the house. Take turns being the librarian. Pretend play can sometimes be a lot for adults, but when we turn it into something we already know, it makes it easier to make-believe. Community places are fun and educational- post office, grocery store, restaurant, fire and police station are all places you can create in your own space if you use a little bit of imagination.
Make a sensory floor or obstacle course. You can use any flat objects and some tape to make a fun sensory floor, and chairs and pillows make for great obstacles in your own at-home course. There is always ‘the floor is lava’ if all else fails.
Don’t forget about board games. I was surprised how much the students in my class loved chutes and ladders, slapjack, and candyland. These types of games have pictures and symbols that help our friends who have a harder time following written or stated instructions. They were a hit in the classroom during those long testing days at the end of the year.
And last but not least- a dress up photo shoot is an easy indoor activity. You’ve got clothes, and you’ve got a phone. Go all out on hair and makeup if you want to, and make your kid feel like a star.
Hopefully some of these activities will bring you and your child or client some joy and laughter during these long, hot summer days.
Parents and providers, thank you for all that you do! Please feel free to send us pictures of any of the fun things you are doing to beat this heat and to keep that gas money in your pocket!