Examples of Sensory Needs
When planning sensory play activities for the little ones in your life, in particular those with special needs, you should consider not only what they are going to learn, but also how they are going to experience it. The purpose is to plan activities which suitably encourage their sensory development and needs.
Some examples of sensory needs are detailed below:
- Children who are blind or visually impaired may not get as much use from colouring on plain paper as perhaps they would be using textured papers or surfaces including uneven, wavy, or even scratchy surfaces (e.g. sandpaper).
- Children who are deaf or hard of hearing may miss the verses of a song. However, they can feel the beat of the drum, and therefore the vibration of whistles and kazoos. Music is often used in sensory play for deaf or hard of hearing children. You must let them feel the music.
- Children with physical limitations may not have the control to simply follow complex painting patterns, but they will achieve success with washable stamps and pads, where elaborate masterpieces are created with simple movements.
- Children with sensory processing issues can vary significantly, from some being very sensitive to sensory stimulation, while others with relatively low sensitivity. For older children who crave more stimulation, add scented extracts or tiny beads to homemade playdough. You may also try finger painting instead of using a brush so that their fingers feel the paint and can direct the movement. You may wish to use plastic ziplock bags filled with a variety of coloured paints for younger children for them to squish and mix / move the colours around.