The therapy team at Hope House and Tŷ Gobaith would like to share some activities that usually take place at the hospices. If you have time to try them out, we hope you have fun and we'd love to see some photos - please send them to [email protected], or [email protected].

Scarf Dancing

You will need: an ipad or phone and a mixture of scarves (whatever you have at the back of your cupboard!)

This involves: touch (tactile) and relaxation

Play some floaty music on the iPad/phone

Move the scarves in slow large movements

Start stroking the scarves along your child’s arm through clothing- check for reaction

If appropriate, move to the scarves stroking the child/young person’s forearm, then through their fingers, feet and toes, face and neck. Check for reactions, it can be very tickly!

Dancing With Children Who Are Hearing Impaired

You will need: a Bluetooth speaker

This involves: participation, movement and exercise, fun

Play music through a Bluetooth speaker/Alexa/Google Home. Place the device on your child’s lap or in their hand. This allows the child to feel the vibrations of the music

Encourage rhythmic movements that are in time to the music.

You can enhance the beat of the music by gently tapping your child

Choose music with a clear beat.

You can make the dance visual by using scarfs.

Sensory Play with Cornflour

You will need: a large container or bowl, 2 cups of cornflour, 1 cup of water.

This activity encourages: healthy attachment, talking and understanding, tactile feeling, fine motor development and fun!

Use your fingers to mix everything up. Let your child help you mix it – they may love getting messy and feeling the mixture in their hands. If they squeeze it tightly, it will start to go solid in their hands, then when they stop squeezing, it will turn into a gooey liquid with stringy threads in it.

Hints:

Try naming the ingredients and explore the texture before mixing.

Talk to your child about how the mixture feels: warm, cold, smooth, rough, wet, dry?

Does it feel the same on each hand?

What words can you use to describe happens when you push/move the messy media?

A great technique if your child has a tactile sensitivity, is to provide firm (not overly tight) pressure to the palms of their hands for 20 -30 seconds. This can be achieved through rubbing their hands, or squashing their palms together. This will help desensitise all the nerve endings, and make the activity significantly more accessible.

Messy play doesn’t just benefit children of a young age. Sensory play has huge benefits to the nervous system; squeezing, kneading, squishing and shaping are all proprioceptive activities, such activities have a calming effect on the body.

Claves/Tapping sticks

You will need: Little wooden sticks. Wooden spoons, drum sticks or similar.

This involves: Exploring sounds, starting and stopping, control, being tactile, vibration.

Say or sing the following inserting your child’s name in:

"Tap tap tapping with ‘Harry’

Tap tap tapping along

Tap tap tapping with ‘Harry’

Tapping to the tapping song"

Explore what noises different objects make when tapped (wheelchair, floor door, etc)

iPad – Magic Fingers App

You will need: an iPad or similar tablet, and to download the Magic Fingers App

This involves: Looking, stretching, reaching up, concentration, making choices, co-ordination.

Music plays in the background while the child makes patterns with fingers on the screen.

A choice of music and patterns are available.  

Use the iPad in different positions to encourage reaching, head elevation etc.

Make Your Own Sensory Den

Click on this link to join Sarah in her sensory den, and find out how to make your very own den, indoors or in the garden:

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