Creating a little bit of fun in the form of a sand box, you can work on tactile sensations and emulate the beaches!!
Kitchens ARE where the magic happens! And you don’t need to go buy a big bag of sand to make your indoor sand box, either! By using rice, oats, some food coloring and a bin, you can create granular tactile experiences similar to sand. Grab everything you need. Set out the ingredients. Set out the toys, and put together worlds that the imagination can only create! Kitchen utensils are great for this type of play. Cups, spatulas, bowls or other common objects in your cupboard are great for grabbing, feeling and playing in your homemade sand. What’s great about indoor sand boxes is that you’re able to work on multiple types of therapies while playing. By asking questions, sounding out objects and working on communicating the different textures, you’re able to have fun and provide progress and steps toward growth through PLAY!
For those with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) – a neurological condition in which an individual has difficulty perceiving or responding to any stimuli that affects the senses – new textures can be alarming. A child with SPD can be extremely sensitive to sound, smell, or tactile sensation. Also known as Sensory Integration Dysfunction, this disorder can have a major impact on how a person interacts with everyday objects or surroundings.
The Five Basic Senses:
Visual – The sensory system responsible for sight and controlled by the occipital lobe of the brain
Auditory – Responsible for hearing through the auditory cortex of the superior temporal gyrus of the brain
Olfactory – The sensory system that processes smell and receive regulatory information (good smell vs. bad smell, detection of odor, etc.) from other parts of the brain
Gustatory – Sensory system responsible for our sense of taste and receives important regulatory information from the lateral sulcus portion of the brain
Tactile – The sensory system that controls interpretation of touch, regulated through the somatosensory cortex (a very prominent portion of the lateral postcentral gyrus / parietal lobe region of the brain)
Out of the five basic senses, tactile sensation is one of the most common challenges for children with SPD. For example, they may react differently to age-appropriate objects of different textures (e.g. finger foods, sand, finger paint, glitter, or Playdoh). Problems with the basic senses can also impact a child’s experience in the home, classroom, or playground. For example, a child with auditory challenges may react unpleasantly to toys with sound effects or the sound of markers on a whiteboard.