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We learn to adapt by appreciating various sensory input in our environment. Sensory activities support cognitive development, physical and social skills and enhance our communication. Sensory play helps us learn more about the world around us and it is most beneficial when it is customised to meet individual needs.

Callum is one of the youngest clients to attend Afford’s Rouse Hill Day Program in New South Wales. Whether it is watching the movement of the trees as the wind blows, or rolling/ kicking a ball, Callum finds calm and contentment in things that move.

Sometimes the simplest objects create the most excitement. Serina is the Team Leader at Rouse Hill Day Program. She knows that Callum enjoys movement, so she found a car tyre and sandpit to incorporate into the day programs activities. These instantly attracted Callum’s attention.

Explore Your Interests

The tyre presents many opportunities for sensory stimulation. Callum watches the tyre roll up and down the backyard. He runs after it, laughing and happy the whole time. He lifts and carries the tyre to where he wants it to start rolling. All these activities encourage Callum to be physically active. This movement sets a positive tone for the day.

Do Things That Make You Happy

The sandbox is another of Callum’s favourites. He plays with the sand in a variety of ways. He pours it into the tyre and eagerly awaits the outcome of what happens as he rolls the tyre up and down the backyard. He digs in the sand and lets it run through his fingers. Sand provides Callum with many forms of sensory engagement to support his overall physical and mental wellbeing.

Get Creative

Here are a few ideas for sensory activities you can create yourself:

  • Fill a tray with rice or sand and hide small objects in there for your loved one to find. Use this time to talk about textures, what they see and how it makes them feel.
  • Use shaving cream to draw on a window or mirror. You can also use salt or sand on a hard surface.
  • Fill a balloon or rubber glove with cornflour, rice or sand, tie a knot at the top and create a stress ball.

Watch: Make colourful sensory foam.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bobuj5Mgd7A

Watch: Make a stress ball.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fz5iEBdJM84&t=13s

Learn about sensory engagement at Afford Day Programs across Australia and connect with Afford Allied Health professionals.