Sensory Stimulation Activities & Ideas for Toddlers

by Kelly Sundstrom, Demand Media
    Satisfy sensory-sensitive children with stimulation activities.

    Satisfy sensory-sensitive children with stimulation activities.

    Do you feel like your toddler seems to lose control over the littlest thing? Little ones can become overwhelmed, and as a mom it can be difficult to figure out why. Toddlers can seem overly sensitive about everything and can overreact to different situations, which usually ends up with your child throwing a tantrum or crying. A lot of times, sensory stimulation activities can help soothe this sensory overload and can help your child cope better when these situations occur later. Try a few of these activities to help your toddler feel more at ease.

    Activity Blankets

    Activity blankets have different sensory items sewn right on to the top, such as materials that feel soft, sound crinkly or jingly, or look shiny and colorful. When you need your toddler to have more sensory stimulation, lay out an activity blanket for your child to sit on to play for a while. You can either play with the blanket with your child or allow her to play with the activities on her own. Bonus: This type of blanket can allow you to find a little quiet time for yourself during the day as your child plays on it.

    Backpacking Around

    Toddlers love to carries treasured items in a backpack or satchel. It doesn't matter where they go, they just love to carry things! Carrying a little weight in a backpack can actually benefit your toddler's sensory stimulation. Don't force your toddler to carry a backpack, just let her naturally fill one as usual but allow her to keep it on while you go to the store, to the park or on a walk.

    Pushing Activities

    Your toddler may naturally want to push a baby doll around in a stroller, or push a toy shopping cart around a play kitchen, but you may not realize that this type of activity can help sensory stimulation by providing your child with resistance as she walks. You might see other parents out and about with their toddlers pushing toy shopping carts full of plastic food or dollies in strollers, but little did you know that it could help your child build up muscle tone and develop sensory perception.

    Daily Massage

    Massage helps relax your child's muscles and also promotes sensory stimulation on the skin. You might remember giving your newborn a baby massage, but you can still do this for your toddler as a sensory activity. Set aside 30 minutes to massage your toddler's back, neck, arms legs and feet. You might want to give her the massage before nap time or before bed because it will make her feel very sleepy afterward.

    About the Author

    Kelly Sundstrom is a national special needs spokesperson and writer. She writes content for major brands, magazines and newspapers, including Gather News, STACK Magazine, Colgate, Kudzu, LIVESTRONG and Lowe's Home Improvement. She currently has over 6500 digital and print articles in publication. Her awards include the 2012 Skyword High Flyer Award and the 2009 Demand Media Top Content Creator Award.

    Photo Credits

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