Toys and Activities to Keep Kids Active and Meet Their Sensory Needs in a Small Home
One of the hardest pieces of equipment to replicate at home from a full sensory gym is a swing. Yet, a swing is also one of the most powerful pieces of equipment to help regulate a child’s sensory system and ask any of the kids, it’s also the most fun! The Gorilla Gym is a fantastic way to get a swing into your home without a big price tag, large space or expert installation. The Gorilla Gym has a pull-up bar that can be installed onto a door frame without drilling and comes with attachments that can hang from the bar.
Rock Climbing Wall
Climbers need a place to climb! Rock walls are perfect for a small home because you already have all the space you need!
Big or small trampolines will be great investments for your child’s sensory needs. I love the handle bars on the mini trampolines for stability and more sensory input into the child’s arms as they lean into it while jumping. A trampoline helps give great input in one contained spot in your house.
Pop-up Tent and Tunnels
Small, enclosed spaces can create a sense of safety for an overwhelmed child needing to calm down. Pop-up tents and tunnels are great for this purpose. Tunnels are great to crawl, hide and play inside because moving inside a small space gives more proprioceptive (muscle and joint) input and creates a higher demand on the body to move than a wide, open space. If space is a concern, buy tents and tunnels that can be folded up and stored in small spaces.
Kadoozie Super Skipper
The toy is placed on the ground and when turned on, the sticks spin and the kids jump over it again and again and again.
Spinning is intense vestibular (movement) input and is great for children who have a hard time keeping their bodies still. Spinning will meet movement needs quicker than back and forth movement.
Pool noodle swords
Pool noodle swords have proven to be perfect for families to help regulate their sensory systems. The pool noodle is soft enough to not cause injury.
Weighted pillows and blankets
Weighted pillows and blankets are a great way to help children to settle and calm for a midday nap or after a long day of play. My favorite local Utah company, Comfort Weighted Blankets, is where I usually recommend buying weighted blankets. (Not only do I like to support local companies, but I’ve found that buying from local companies can decrease the shipping cost on weighted items.) You can also find other companies or you can make your own.
EASY OR NO-EQUIPMENT-NEEDED ACTIVITIES
DANCE PARTIES: Only music needed to get your dance moves on!
BALLOON TOSS: Blow up a balloon and try to keep it in the air! (Easy activity for kids to do while parents are occupied.)
CLIMB, JUMP, CRASH: Jump from the couch, stairs or beds into blankets, pillows, cushions, bean bags or stuffed animals.
WRESTLING: A great way to keep kids and adults active!
TWISTER: A classic game that can be fun for all ages!
To see more tips from Tera Robinson go to yumstheraplay.com