Sensory Processing Disorder Parent Support
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Sensory Diet Sensory Break Ideas For Children  

Children with sensory differences ... painting the world beautiful.  

Sensory Diet Sensory Break Ideas For Children  

Jeanette Loftus 

child with sensory processing disorder doing sensory diet sensory activities slide Sensory Diet sensory Break Ideas For Children
Children who have Sensory Processing Disorder should have sensory breaks throughout the day to keep them regulated. They need to maintain their sensory diet regularly, even when they are not displaying the need for it. We should not wait until they are already dysregulated to accommodate their sensory needs.

Sensory breaks are an important part of a child's daily routines especially those who have sensory processing disorder.

These breaks allow children to regulate their sensory input and help them stay focused and engaged in activities throughout the day.

Sensory breaks are a part of a child's sensory diet that is carefully planned by your child's occupational therapist. They are a sensory schedule of activities that help children with sensory processing disorder.

Using a visual timer or visual schedule are helpful so that your child knows what the planned for their day, sensory breaks will be and for how long. Give your child warnings that the break is soon ending. Sensory breaks should accommodate your child's sensory needs. Consult an Occupational Therapist to plan a sensory diet for your child.

The duration and how often your child needs their sensory breaks can be different for each child. Some children may need short breaks more often but other children may only need a few longer breaks throughout the day. It is important to observe your child’s behavior and mood to determine the appropriate time for their sensory break.

It is important to understand what sensory breaks are and how often they should be included in your child’s daily routine. Sensory breaks are short periods of time typically lasting a few minutes during the day that your child engages in sensory activities that stimulate their senses.

Their sensory breaks can be both calming and energizing, depending on the level of arousal your child needs. They are designed to provide a sensory reset for the child, allowing them to better participate in activities.

The idea of a sensory diet was first introduced by occupational therapist Patricia Wilbarger in the late 1980's. A sensory diet is a set of sensory activities that can help children with sensory processing disorder regulate their responses to sensory input. It is like a balanced meal but for your child's body. A sensory diet provides a balance of sensory input that helps your child stay regulated throughout the day.

These activities provide a strong tactile input to the body, which can be calming for some children. Examples of deep pressure activities include weighted blankets, bear hugs, or squeezing a stress ball.

Physical activities such as jumping jacks, wall push-ups, or animal walks (crab walk, bear crawl, etc.) can provide much-needed movement breaks for children who struggle with sensory regulation.

Filling a small container with various textures, such as rice, beans, sand, or water beads, can be a great sensory break for children. They can run their hands through the materials, explore with different tools, or hide objects for a fun and engaging experience.

Playing soft and soothing music in the background can help children relax and focus during sensory breaks. Classical music, nature sounds, or white noise can all be beneficial.

Small handheld objects that provide sensory stimulation, such as stress balls, squishy toys, or textured objects, can be helpful for children during sensory breaks.

Sensory breaks should be for each child’s specific sensory needs and preferences. Parents should work closely with their child’s occupational therapist to create a sensory diet that works best for them. Sensory breaks should be included in a child’s daily schedule. These breaks can help children stay focused and regulate their emotions.   
1. Using a weighted blanket
2. Running around
3. Ball Pit
4. Yoga
5. Jumping on a crash pad
6. Climbing Stairs
7. Sensory bottles/Calm down jars
8. Drinking with a straw
9. Tossing a weighted ball
10. Sensory platform swing
11. Jumping on a trampoline
12. Bear walks
13. Jumping on bubble wrap
14. Using a scooter board
15. Obstacle course
16. Blow up balloons
17. Wearing a weighted vest
18. Using a jumping hopper ball
19. Glow sticks bath tub
20. Sliding down the slide
21. Balancing games
22. Big hugs
23. Eat sour and spicy flavors
24. Rocking
25. Stringing beads (fine motor)
26. Heavy Work Activities
27. Roller blades
28. Wagon ride
29. Teeter totter
30. Merry-go-round
31. Soccer
32. Make slime
33. Wikki Stix
34. Ball hockey
35. Hopscotch
36. Crawling through boxes
37. Pulling apart resistant toys/objects
38. Squishing between pillows
39. Push ups
40. Stretching in a sensory body sock
41. Spinning on chair with wheels
42. Rocking on a rocking horse
43. Hanging upside down off couch
44. Climbing on playground equipment
45. Play with Clay
46. Retrieving objects hidden in rice or beans
47. Face and body painting
48. Whip cream painting
49. Pudding play
50. Push furniture around
51. Sit in a big comfy sensory bean bag chair
52. Using a peanut ball
53. Using a yoga ball
54. Spinning
55. Tug of war
56. Wheelbarrow walk
57. Have a bath with bath paint
58. Using Fidgets
59. Gentle play wrestling
60. Jumping Jacks
61. Water play
62. Tickle over there skin softly
63. Sand play
64. Carrying weighted sensory backpack
65. Turn on bubble column
66. Play catch
67. Eating crunchy foods
68. Chewing on some chew toys
69. Jumping on bouncy castle
70. Hopscotch
71. Blanket Burito
72. Paint your hands with a paint brush
73. Blowing whistles
74. Chew gum
75. Play musical instruments
76. Listen to music
77. Build a blanket tent
78. Spinning on a Bilibo
79. Water Beads
80. Dancing
81.Wilbarger brushing
82. Joint Compressions
83. Blowing bubbles
84. Playing with play dough
85. Playing in shaving cream
86. Discovering sensory bins
87. Massage
88. Crab walk
89. Cuddle a house pet
90. Trapeze
91. Bubble baths
92. Tattoo/stickers on body
93. Hitting a kids punching bag
94. Sensory Vibration cushion
95. Bouncing Teeter Totter
96. Crawling through a sensory tunnel
97. Sit ups
98. Go visit an indoor sensory play park
99. Lay down with sensory lights in the dark
100. Sensory cuddle swing
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DISCLAIMER: I am not an Occupational Therapist. I am an adult who has Sensory Processing Disorder, a sensory parent and a Grandma. The information on this website is not medical advice and does not replace the information that your child's therapists gives you. These are just ideas and information that I have learned myself over the years of being a parent and an adult living with SPD. If you are concerned for your child, please always seek medical attention through a family doctor, pediatrician or therapist. This website is for suggestions and informational purposes only. Each child is different and what works for one child may not for another because all children have different needs. Please always consult with a professional. Amazon offers a small commission on products sold through their affiliate links on my website.  Each of your purchases through links on my website for Amazon affiliation links or sponsored links support me but no additional cost to you so thank you. I appreciate it so much!