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Fun with sense - sensorics for holidays :)

Rsummer has already begun, the days are longer and warmer. Let's spend these moments with our beloved children in a creative and creative way, and not only in front of the TV or computer. Even if the weather was not good for us, there are many ways to have fun that will give us a lot of fun and have a positive impact on development. It does not require a great financial outlay, trips to the far corners of the city, or a huge amount of time. The quality of the time spent with the child is more important than the amount of it itself.

A short time of playing with your baby can become a pleasant daily ritual that will be remembered by them for the rest of their lives. Often a piece of string, foil or a mug is a better and more interesting toy for a child than colorful, playing mechanisms. It allows for the development of imagination and intelligence, and often it shapes independence.

In fact, while playing with a child, we unconsciously use many valuable, "healthy" methods of work, described by great world authorities. I would like to show that at home, on the playground, in the forest or in the park, you can play with your child by playing with elements of Sensory Integration (SI). Of course, it will not replace a professional, full care of a specialized therapist (which is why I call it games with elements of AI), but it will certainly support his huge work.

Shaping the balance

If we want to shape the balance, we can play on a thick rope on the floor. If we do not have such a rope, we can use rolled up towels, a blanket or colored tape stuck to the carpet. An equally good solution will be walking on a log, on a rope in a playground or balance beam, on slopes, hills, unevenness, stones, which can be seen during a walk, e.g. in a forest. A very developing exercise is imitating the birds observed during the walk (body posture: stork, swallow). Walking with bare feet on various textures is also very good: mattresses, bubble wrap, doormats, sponges, sand, etc. Cycling, scooters or walking on mini-shafts are also a great form of exercise. All these elements and suggestions are just as good, providing additional, interesting sensory experiences.

Muscle tension and smooth movements

We will improve the proper muscle tone and smoothness of movements by jointly sticking pizza dough, dough for yeast rolls, sticking salt mass for play, plasticine or modeling clay. It is also a great idea to prepare homemade plasticine with your child.

Homemade plasticine

  • 1.5 cups of water
  • 1.5 cups of flour
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 1 teaspoon of salt

In a pot, mix the flour and salt. Add water and oil, mix and put on fire, stirring constantly. The mixture becomes thick quickly.It likes to stick to the bottom of the pot, so let's use a rod at the beginning and then a wooden spoon to prevent it from sticking. Optionally, you can add a food coloring or sprinkle glitter, then our plasticine will be more attractive to the child. Cook the plasticine over low heat until it thickens and becomes uniform. We lecture it until it cools down, and then we just have fun together.

We can also prepare edible plastic mass.

Edible plastic mass

  • 1 cup of non-chocolate peanut butter (it's best to grind the peanuts yourself in a blender and you will get peanut butter)
  • approx. 2 cups of powdered milk
  • approx. 1 cup of honey

An important rule of thumb for the preparation of this mass is the proportion of 1: 2: 1. If the mass turns out to be too thin, add powdered milk. We knead all ingredients and it's ready! After the fun is over, you can eat your creation with taste.

Streamlining the work of the hand

The greatest fun for the child is to be part of the parent's work. Helping mum or dad with daily chores builds a child's sense of worth. Among such games can be:

  • fastening clothes and underwear with clips to a string or a dryer,
  • turning and closing the jars,
  • pouring groats and flour,
  • putting pasta into boxes, containers,
  • pouring the jointly cooked compote and juice through a funnel,
  • putting jam into a jar,
  • pouring soup. 

Let's give our children the opportunity to act independently at home, even if it involves a small mess or spilled juice. In order to improve the work of the hand, it will be beneficial to sharpen crayons and pencils before coloring, large-format drawings, e.g. with chalk in the yard in front of the house. Jumping on the grass will also be fun - racing in a sack.

Improving the touch system

To improve the child's touch system, it is important to learn about different textures, shapes, and to vary the temperatures of the objects touched. Let the child get dirty and paint it with paints using your fingers, paint on a large sheet with dipped tea bags (I recommend black, cranberry, ginger or green tea, because they will leave different shades on the sheet), paint with ground spices (gently mixed with water to make a pulp: sweet paprika, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon or gingerbread spice). Let us jab, lubricate and massage various parts of the body with delicate creams and oils. Let the child play in a bowl of jelly, glue pieces of paper with jelly, and feed the beloved teddy bear or doll with a teaspoon of jelly. Let's "hide" the fruit at the bottom of the jelly bowl and let the child pull it out with his hands. Let's roll out the dough together, arrange blocks, puzzles, and make foam in a bowl of water. Let's go for a walk and collect the treasures of summer - leaves, twigs, flowers, pebbles, sand, shells, bird feathers and, after returning home, let's prepare a collage that will allow you to remember the pleasant moments spent with your beloved parent forever. Have fun!

Katarzyna Szarko
psychologist, special educator at PPC

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