Creative Child

10 Super Stellar Sensory Activities

by Rebecca Eanes
Photo Credit: Sensory Processing 101

In their new book, Sensory Processing 101, the authors describe the 8 sensory systems. These are:

  1. The auditory system (sense of hearing) 
  2. The olfactory system (sense of smell)
  3. The oral sensory system (sense of taste)
  4. The vestibular system (how we sense where our bodies are in space)
  5. The proprioceptive system (our sense of the way our bodies move)
  6. The tactile system (sense of touch)
  7. The visual system (sense of sight)
  8. The interoceptive system (general sense of our body’s physical system, such as hunger).

These sensory systems work to take in information from the child’s surroundings and send it to the nervous system, which processes it and generates a response or reaction. Sensory processing, then, is the way the body receives, analyzes, and responds to the information received from the environment. The authors say that, “Thoughtful, guided exposure to playful sensory experiences is the best way to promote healthy development of the sensory systems.”

From Sensory Processing 101, I’ve chosen 10 of my favorite sensory activities that will help your child develop these systems well. There are many more to choose from in the book so be sure to check it out!

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Sensory Play Ideas

Activity 1: (Oral Sensory System Activity) Mouthercises:

Demonstrate each of these sounds and movements and ask your child or children to imitate.

  1. Buzz like a bee.
  2. Make a clicking noise with your tongue.
  3. Pucker up and make loud kissing noises.
  4. Open your mouth wide and say “AAAHHHH!”
  5. Press your lips together tightly and say “MMMMMMM!”
  6. Blow up your cheeks big like a bubble and then use your hands to “pop” the bubble.
  7. Stick your tongue out as far as you can.
  8. Have a silly face contest.

Activity 2: (Auditory System Activity) Blindfold Navigation

Set up a simple, safe course to navigate. Take turns being the leader and the follower. The follower gets blindfolded and the leader gives verbal directions to move around the course, such as “take 3 steps forward and turn right.” You may want to start practicing without the blindfold first, and make sure this activity is always supervised by an adult.

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