Sensory Diet Activities

Some common activities, events, or daily living activities can be especially challenging for children with SPD. Examples include:

  • Hair cuts
  • Brushing teeth
  • Bath/shower
  • Nail clipping
  • Bedtime
  • Car/bus rides
  • Large gatherings (holiday, birthday, fair)

Depending on your child’s sensory processing differences, these occurrences may pose unique challenges. It is important to remember to plan for specific sensory activities that meet your child’s sensory seeking or sensory avoiding needs.

A sensory diet is a tool that integrates a variety of activities (appropriate for seeking or avoiding) into your child’s daily routine. A sensory diet is beneficial because it addresses sensory seeking/sensory avoiding throughout the day, not only when the child is dysregulated or struggling with their sensory processing.

Consider some of the following ideas for your child’s daily routine:

Sense

Ideas for Sensory Avoiding Ideas for Sensory Seeking
Proprioceptive/ Vestibular

Short car rides Firm mattress or seating

Weighted vest, blanket, etc Heavy work tasks (taking out the garbage, carrying heavy items) Deep pressure

Body sock Hugs Massages

Swinging Trampoline Rocking

Sit on yoga ball Crash pad Sports

Exercise Wiggle seat

Flips/somersaults

Sight

Dimming lights Screen filters Sunglasses

Slow or still images Muted or few colors

Bright lights Colorful

Lots of moving images Multiple types of lights

Sound

Low volume

Non-busy environments Ear plugs

Noise cancelling headphones Quiet toys

High volume Busy/noisy environments

Sound making toys

Tactile Seamless/tagless clothing Variety of textures (soft, rough, smooth, bumpy)
Gustatory/Olfactory

Reduce exposure to strong scents (candles, farms)

Scent-free detergents and soaps Bland food

Spicy food Aroma therapy Diffusers Essential oils

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