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Too Hot! Too Loud! Too Much! – 4 Sensory Friendly Ideas

Summer! It’s the season we all eagerly await during the cold New England winter months. With beach days, BBQ’s, and fun in the sun – what’s not to love?!

If you’re a Complex Learner (a child with with multiple learning differences), summer can actually be challenging. Complex Learners often struggle with sensory issues. That means that summer norms like heat from the sun, the feeling of a wet bathing suit, and the noise of a family BBQ can easily add up to sensory overload and cause behavior meltdowns! But with sensory friendly activities, Complex Learners and their families can enjoy some summer fun together!

Here are 4 sensory friendly ideas to get you started!

  1. Movie Night

A trip to the movie theater is a classic go-to idea for a rainy summer day. But crowds, lines, the smells from concessions, and the increased volume of the film might be too much for some kids to handle. Instead, have an at-home movie night! Pick a favorite film, have each family member choose a special treat to have during the screening, build a pillow fort for a comfy venue to enjoy while viewing the film, and have fun!

  1. Movement Fun

Hopscotch, an impromptu dance party, or even a scavenger hunt are all beneficial, thanks to their main component – movement! Movement is advantageous for all children but especially Complex Learners. Movement helps with sensory regulation, organization, focus, and even mood. So, grab some chalk and have a game of hopscotch in the driveway or turn on your child’s favorite Pandora station and dance the day away!

  1. Star Gazing

One of the coolest summer activities can be done right in your backyard. As a family, head outside with a telescope and spend the night gazing at the stars! Your child will still be benefiting from time outdoors but with the sun down you don’t have to worry about getting too hot or it being too bright. Find a bug spray that goes on easily and grab a deck chair or throw a blanket on the lawn to stay comfortable and avoid any itchy grass feelings. You could even print out some fun online guides or grab a book from your local library and ask for your child’s help identifying what they’re seeing above them!

  1. Sensory Games

Fun activities or games that involve sensory integration can be very helpful for children with sensory issues. Create your own Magic Muck or build towers with foam blocks and shaving cream. You can have your own sensory integration fun right at home. It might be a little messy but it could provide cool entertainment with the added benefit of helping kids reset and focus!

Have your own sensory friendly ideas for family fun in the summertime? Share them below!

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