Below is some practical information which will hopefully support home learning for children with additional needs. These are sensory/practical/screen free activities to do at home using everyday household objects. You may like to involve other siblings, especially those younger.
If you need any other support such as other agencies you can contact for support, please contact Mrs Atkinson (Associate SENco) – email@example.com
Non screen activities for all ages, download below:
This will be particularly useful for children with autistic spectrum conditions (ASC) and those who will struggle with extended periods of screen time.
Auditory Sensory Activities
- Play Guess that Animal – Use 100 different animal sounds, an Alexa can help with this!
- Listen to 100 seconds of calming sounds
- 100 Shakes of a Maraca
- 100 Seconds of Silence
Oral Sensory Activities
- Blow 100 bubbles
- Bubble Gum (Biggest bubble after 100 chews)
- Cotton Ball Table Fun (blow 100 Cotton Balls into a cup)
- Blow Painting (usse a straw to move paint on a paper)
- 100 Second Feather Game (try to keep a feather in the air for 100 seconds by blowing)
Tactile Sensory Activities
- Sensory Ball Games (any size ball can be used; you could make a ball out of tin foil if you don’t have one!)
- Roll from Fingertip to Fingertip, Roll from head to toe, Sensory Ball Toss
- Guess that Texture – Put 100 objects in a box and feel
Fine Motor Sensory Activities
- Cotton Ball Squeeze Relay Game (each player uses tweezers to pass 10 cotton balls to the next player)
- Write numbers/letters/draw pictures in shaving cream
- Cut the numbers/letters out and decorate with sequins/rice etc
- Use a hole-punch to punch 100 dots, then ask your child to count as many of they can
Core Strength Activities that can be done inside or out
- Circuit Training (10 Sit ups, 10 squats, 10 crunches, 10 Bicycle kicks)
- 100 Second Poses (Superman, Plank, Stand on one leg)
- Tummy time (Do any of the activities listed on your stomach)
Body Awareness Sensory Activities
- Simon Says, adapt to ‘mum/dad/sister/brother says’
- Have children use cards/or someone to say the command to touch parts of their bodies
- Hokey Cokey (You can adapt it to have children put in certain number of body parts)
- Hide and Seek numbers/letters (Hide numbers/letters in a large space)
Self-Regulation Sensory Activities for Kids
- Fun Breathing (Puffer Fish Breaths, Shape breaths)
- Monster Face (Squeeze the muscles in your face tight – my favourite!)
- Count backwards from 100
- Make an Anxiety Squeeze Ball (Put beans/lentils etc in a balloon and tie it shut)
- A visual schedule uses pictures and symbols to demonstrate what activities will occur and in what order. Children (and adults!) tend to thrive on routines and children with additional needs especially respond positively to having structure.
- Structure enables them to be able to organise and predict events that will be occurring throughout the day/week. This can help to reduce anxiety levels of children with autism and/or learning disabilities. When feeling anxious it can be difficult to take in and hold onto any verbal information so having things presented in a simple visual format can also help to relieve this anxiety.
- Visual schedules can be used to map out the activities of a day or even a whole week for a child, or can simply be used to show the process of a single activity such as brushing your teeth or getting ready for bed. PECS (picture exchange communication system) can be used to create your visual schedule (your child may be used to using these at school). However, you can also use your own photographs. It may be useful to have the pictures on velcro or stuck down with blu-tac so that your child is able to remove it from the schedule once the activity has been completed.
This link may also help with routines
Regulating Sensory Activities
Use blankets, throws, tarps etc to build as these create a regulating environment and reduce the amount of sensory input your child has to process. You could have a picnic in the den with crunchy and crisp foods which are regulating. Or play regulating games like colouring or Connect 4.
These provide great regulating sensory experiences. Encourage your child to carry/punch objects to make the obstacle course. Try to include things that will allow your child to crawl and have different body positions.
Cosmic Kids Yoga
There are lots of fun and child friendly You Tube clips that include simple yoga poses which are regulating and you and your child could do them together.
To slow YouTube clips down:
- Open the video in YouTube.
- Click the three dots in right hand corner or settings icon on the bottom right.
- Select ‘playback speed’ to 0.5x or less.
Heavy Work Activities
Any activities that involves pulling, pushing, carry heavy objects provide regulating proprioceptive inputs. Some ideas include gardening activities – digging and pushing a wheelbarrow, tug of war, cycling, helping with housework, row row your boat song, door pull up bars, wall press offs