Archive for the ‘Sensory Information’ Category

6 “Smelly” Activities for Kids!

Try these fun smelling activities with your kids this summer! Have the kids use your senses to describe what they smell and talk about and discuss the end result! These fun activities are from Scholastic.com! Gather your kids and see if they can pass the “smell” test!!

Smell and Go Seek
Test your kids’ power of odor detection by spraying a washable object, like a clean sock or towel, with a strong scent (perfume or room deodorizer works well). While your child closes her eyes and counts to 20, quickly hide the sock in the room—and see how long it takes her to find it by using her nose as her guide. For an extra challenge, blindfold your child, guide her around the house, then see if she can tell where she is just by the smells in the air. Since our noses quickly grow accustomed to familiar odors, she’ll have to pay close attention to discern the lingering scent of spaghetti that tells her she’s in the kitchen, or the hint of detergent that says laundry room.

Blind Taste Test
To make the point that your sense of smell is closely linked to your sense of taste, try an old-fashioned taste-test as a mini-science experiment. Blindfold your child, have him plug his nose, then see if he can taste the difference between foods with similar textures. Try apples vs. raw potatoes, orange soda vs. lemon-lime, banana yogurt vs. strawberry, purple jelly beans vs. green. Keep track of his guesses as you go. Then have him take a stab at identifying the flavors simply by smelling them. Which was easier? Did he get more right by taste or by smell? How does our ability to smell things affect our ability to taste them? The takeaway: Without a sense of smell, everything would taste pretty much the same — one reason it’s no fun to eat when your nose is stuffed up.

Smell Matcher
Make a Memory-style card game that relies on your child’s sense of smell. On 3×5 index cards or pieces of cardstock, swab on a thin patch of white glue. While it’s still wet, sprinkle on a powdered herb or spice, such as cinnamon, pepper, or the more exotic coriander or Spanish paprika. Each spice should appear on two cards, with at least twelve cards total. To play the game like Memory, shuffle the cards and lay them upside down — then challenge your child to find the matches. Although appearance will offer a clue, make sure you smell each card. (Don’t be surprised if your child comments on the presence of basil or oregano in your next meal!)

Scent Scrapbook
Studies have shown that your sense of smell can enhance your working memory and evoke long-ago experiences — one reason a whiff of bonfire smoke instantly transports you to your childhood summer camps, or cinnamon rolls make you think of your grandmother. Play up that memory power by helping your kid create a scent scrapbook. Talk about the smells that remind her of happy times and beloved people — like the waxy new crayon smell that makes her think of preschool, or the scent of strawberries that reminds her of her favorite snack. Afterward, use a small notebook to create your own scratch-and-sniff scrapbook by spritzing on a perfume or essential oil, gluing on bits of spice, or attaching plastic bags with small bits of the item (like a handful of backyard dirt). After a bad day, inhaling some of her favorite smells can instantly boost your child’s mood.

DIY Stink Bomb
Kids love this one! For the old-fashioned method, use a long needle to prick a hole in an egg. Place it in a ventilated container — like a shoebox with holes punched in it — and wait. Within a couple weeks, bacteria will have broken down the egg’s protein, producing the hydrogen sulfide that creates the classic (and awful!) smell. Release the horrible odor by breaking the egg; just make sure to do it somewhere outside, far away from houses and humans who’ll be stuck smelling it!

Hound Dogs
Know why dogs have such an acute sense of smell? They have between 125 and 200 million olfactory receptors — the cells that detect scents — compared to the 5 million that humans generally have. To see how sharp your little bloodhounds’ noses are, fill a few small lidded jars with different strong scents — a cotton ball soaked in perfume, a 1/4 cup of vinegar, some vanilla, and so on. With your kids standing about 15 feet away, remove the lid from a jar and see who can identify the scent first. Playing around with the variables by diluting the vinegar, moving your kids farther away, or doing the experiment outside can provide different results and lead to some interesting discussion. May the best snout win!

Posted by on July 17th, 2014 Comments Off on 6 “Smelly” Activities for Kids!

 

Sensory Time for Toddlers!

Sometimes on those less sunny days, or just when you are looking for an activity to do, sensory activities are the way to go. The Nurture Store has incredible ideas for fun sensory play ideas with toddlers! Try some of these AWESOME indoor sensory activities with your toddlers and let us know what you think!!

 

Posted by on July 7th, 2014 Comments Off on Sensory Time for Toddlers!

 

Rainbow Slime Activity!

For those days when it is just too hot outside, here is a fun activity for you and your child to do indoors!

RAINBOW SLIME! 

What a fun way to follow directions, work together, and integrate some sensory input into their day!

Read how to make rainbow slime HERE!

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Posted by on June 25th, 2014 Comments Off on Rainbow Slime Activity!

 

Swimming and Autism

With summer coming around the corner, swimming is a fun activity for many children. Super Swimmers Foundation talks about the physical benefit children with autism get from swimming.

Super Swimmers Foundation states:

“Children with autism experience a great deal of benefit from physical activity, which can include:

  • Ease repetitive behaviors
  • Act as a positive social outlet
  • Increase attention span
  • Reduce risk of later adult health conditions of obesity and heart disease”

The article also says that “People with autism experience levels of sensory perception that most of us wouldn’t know or understand,” Dr. O’Connor said. “It overloads them, so they engage in behaviors that distract them. Exercise gives them the same benefits but it doesn’t have the negative social connotations.”

So this summer, take your child to the pool! See the benefits of swimming come to life! Swimming will give them the sensory input they need and exercise that they may not typically get. What a fun activity to endure!

Posted by on June 23rd, 2014 Comments Off on Swimming and Autism

 

“Interacting with Autism Project” Video

WOW. CLICK HERE to check out this video from the “Interacting with Autism Project” on Sensory Overload. Absolutely incredible.

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Posted by on May 14th, 2014 Comments Off on “Interacting with Autism Project” Video

 

Calming Fidget Toys

Does your child fidget a lot? Sometimes all a child needs is the appropriate input to satisfy their sensory needs. Even “silent” tools that your child can use in the classroom, in the car, or while waiting. Check out some of these GREAT sensory, fidgeting toys from the Therapy Shoppe!

Calming fidget toys and occupational therapy sensory tools can be very effective sensory diet self-regulation tools for home, travel, school classrooms, the office… just about anywhere! Help prevent meltdowns, keep fingers busy, minds focused, and bodies relaxed with all the extraordinary calming fidgets toys and sensory tools from the Therapy Shoppe®!

Also, think about a spinner ring!! Age-appropiate while also helping to keep the hands busy!

Here are a few AWESOME examples:

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O Ball

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Fidgeting Foot Band

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Sensory Gel Pad

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Chewy Pencil Toppers

 

Posted by on May 12th, 2014 Comments Off on Calming Fidget Toys