Maybe you’ve heard all of the positive talk about sensory play, and you’re wondering- can I do sensory play with my neurodiverse child? Absolutely! Sensory play isn't just reserved for neurotypical children– it's a fantastic tool for all neurodiverse kids, including those diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, sensory processing disorder, and learning disabilities.
To help us explore this topic, we decided to collaborate with Jennifer Stalley. She is the founder of Meemzy Magic, a company focused on creating sensory bins and kits for kids of all ages. Let's dive into why it's a game-changer and how you can weave it into your child's routine.
Why does Sensory Play Work Wonders for Neurodiverse Kids?
Think of it as a power-up for their brains. Sensory activities create strong connections between different parts of the brain, boosting cognitive development and learning capacity. For kids who might be a bit behind developmentally, it's like giving their brains a turbo boost.
And here's the bonus: daily challenges can often crank up stress and anxiety levels. Sensory play becomes a superhero tool, swooping in to save the day by providing a positive outlet for self-regulation and stress reduction. It's not just play; it's a personalized support system for their unique needs.
Neurodiverse kids often face a world that's not exactly built with them in mind. Sensory play helps them navigate their surroundings more comfortably. The benefits aren't just about having fun – it's about creating essential neural connections for their overall development.
What Sensory Activities are Best for Neurodivergent Kids?
Playdough is excellent for tactile play as it lets kids mold and squish for a hands-on experience.
Sensory play with water creates a calming yet stimulating sensory experience for children.
Set up bins filled with different materials to encourage exploration and hands-on discovery.
Add a touch of sound or music to enhance the overall sensory play experience.
Customize the Journey!
You know your child better than anyone. Together, you can explore different sensory activities to discover what they like best. If auditory stimulation isn’t for your child, that’s okay! If slime and messy play makes them uncomfortable, there is no reason to force it. There are so many ways to enjoy sensory play, and no one knows what will be best for your child more than you. Have fun exploring until you find what activities they love most.
Embrace the versatility of sensory play as a unique adventure, adapting activities to suit each child's preferences and sensitivities. Incorporating sensory activities into a child's routine not only offers a fun experience but also contributes to their overall development and well-being.
Why is Sensory Play so Popular with Neurodivergent Communities?
Neurodivergent communities have been singing the praises of sensory play for ages. It's no surprise that the rest of us are catching on. Parents everywhere are realizing that it's not just for neurodivergent kiddos – it's for everyone. Sensory play is having its moment, and it's not just a trend; it's a tried-and-true practice that's making waves.
The excitement about sensory play isn’t just because it's fun but because it's a lifeline for parents of neurodivergent kids. Parents need all the support they can get, and if there’s an activity that helps them fast-track to the fun part of sensory play – instead of scrambling for ideas and supplies – that's a win.
In a nutshell, sensory play is an amazing tool for neurodiverse kids. It's not just about play; it's about leveling up cognitive development, providing a stress-busting sanctuary, and creating an environment that suits their unique needs. So, dive in, get messy, and let the sensory play adventure begin! Happy playing!