Rolling over on different types of textures – the space blanket and the chiffon scarf would work for this, but you could try different types of blankets, trampolines, soft play centres, ball pools, a sandy beach or a grassy park.
Handling animals is a tactile activity, you could use pets or attend a petting zoo. Plenty of places offer animal handling experiences. You could even visit a pet store. For example, there is a dedicated animal handling farm based in York which specialises in animals that are all happy to be handled. It’s disability specific and there is a huge array of animals to enjoy that all love a cuddle! Nuzzlets
Fully emerging yourself in water is a full body tactile activity that you can do at home by playing in the bath or shower. You can also visit your local swimming pool or a friend’s hot tub. Please remember not to leave your child unattended even in or near shallow water.
In the home
A tuff tray is a great piece of kit for younger children. You can literally fill it with anything and sit your child inside to explore, it can also save a lot of mess! Examples of textures to fill it with are:
- Dried lentils
- Dried beans
- Shaving foam
Get outdoors in nature
Nature offers plenty of opportunities for full body tactile activities – mud, sand, puddles, piles of leaves and tree bark are all great examples of outdoor textures your child can interact with. Climbing trees and feeling bushes both offer fun opportunities for exploration!
Sensory body brushing is a type of therapy which would be recommended by an occupational therapist. Used primarily for children with sensory issues, the theory behind the technique is that it stimulates the body to adjust to the touch that it either seeks or avoids. For sensory avoiders, the body brushing helps them to become more accepting of physical touch. For seekers, the combination of the feel and deep pressure that the brushing offers helps to calm. There is a special technique for this type of therapy, it can increase a child’s ability to optimise their arousal and activity levels as well as decrease sensory defensiveness. It can also help with focus and anxiety. This technique of often referred to as the ‘The Wilbarger (brushing) Protocol’ and ideally, is to be implemented frequently throughout the day for short spells of time. Follow the link below for more information and a video demonstration of the technique:
Sensory Brushing Therapy For Children With Autism – The Awareness Expo