SENSORY SENSE

The JumpTherapy Blog:
Sensory Processing, Motor and Social Skills Resources
for Parents of Special Needs Children

Sensational Strategies to Strengthen Sensory Skills

101 FUN sensory activities to do with your child

Part 2 of 5: Twenty activities to strengthen vestibular (movement) skills

swinging almost upside down girl

Getting a move on
In the previous post, we discussed activities to strengthen your child’s tactile processing efficiency. Today we’re going to talk about the vestibular system and how you can help your son or daughter discover ways to improve it.

Located within our inner ear, the vestibular system is the sense of movement and balance. A strong vestibular system tells our bodies where we are in space in relation to gravity; if we are standing up, falling down, or spinning around. 
 
Try out these activities together to reinforce your child’s vestibular system and sense of balance and it’s a pretty sure bet that you will share some laughs as well:
 
– Spinning or running in circles
– Riding up and down on a seesaw (teeter-totter)
– Balancing in the center of a seesaw, or on a beam, curb, or low wall
– Jumping on a trampoline, jumping from step to step, doing jumping jacks
– Climbing a jungle gym
– Sliding down a slide
– Going up and down stairs
– Doing somersaults or cartwheels
– Spinning on a merry-go-round or chair
– Swinging on a swing or sensory swing, swinging side to side on a hammock
– Swimming
– Bouncing on a therapy ball
– Walking barefoot on uneven surfaces such as grass or sand
– Rocking in a hammock, rocking chair, or porch swing
– Dancing
– Hanging upside down off a couch, off a parent’s lap, or from monkey bars
– Rollerblading
– Riding a bike or scooter
– Skateboarding
– Playground games such as hopscotch or freeze 

Looking ahead:
In the next post, we will discuss ideas for different vestibular-system-stimulating activities.

Do you and your child engage in any special tactile activities? What works well for your family? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below. Also, let me know there or via email what topics you would like to discuss or hear more about. 
 
Feel free to share or quote from this blog (with attribution, please, and if possible, a link), and to repost on social media.
 
I look forward to hearing from you!
 
 

All the best,
Miriam

About Miriam:
Miriam Skydell MS, OTR/L is a pediatric OT with 30 years experience and a strong commitment to empowering every child and every family with the skills, confidence and emotional stability necessary for a meaningful, independent life. In addition to her Masters degree from NYU (1986) and membership in the AOTA (American Occupational Therapy Association), Miriam is a licensed Interactive Metronome®,  HWT (Handwriting Without Tears®), and TLP (The Listening Program®) provider.

Miriam performs preschool screenings, contracts experienced OTs, PTs and STs to schools, helped implement the HWT curriculum, and lectures extensively for parent and support groups and at teacher conferences for public and private schools throughout New Jersey. Through her private practice in Fair Lawn, Miriam Skydell and Associates, established in 1995, Miriam has helped countless children with a wide range of diagnoses improve functional living skills, manage the impact of sensory processing dysfunction, and meet their individual potentials.

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