Sensory Processing Disorder Parent Support

OT Activities 

Sensory Activities




-brushing varied brushes, textures, drawing with chalk on the body, and erasing with varied textures
-massage- varied oils, powders
-sensory play- water, sand, corn meal, finger paint, play doh, clay
-tactile discrimination activities- retrieving objects from closed box or hidden in rice, beans etc.
-face and body painting
-bubble baths
-body tattoos- tattoo/stickers on body parts


-swinging- toddler, sling, platform, hammock, inner tube, trapeze
-jumping- pillows, trampoline, rebounder
-Bouncing- on large ball, on pillows
-rolling- in barrel, rolling up in blanket, rolloing on large ball
-spinning- on chairwith wheels, sit n spin toy
-rocking- rocking horse, rocking chair
-hanging upside down- off couch, off lap, from monkey bars, from trampeze bars
-climbing- on playground equitment, on designated furniture
-wheeled toys- roller blades/roller blades, wagons, trikes, scooters
-riding on moving equitment- car, elevator, water bed, chair on wheels
-playground equitment- slides, teeter totter, merry-go-round
gross motor games- catch, soccer, basketball, tag, ball hockey, hopscotch


-rough and tumble play- play wrestling
-tug of war- rope or fabric
-crawling- throught tunnels and boxes
-stairclimbing- bumping down stairs
-pulling/pushing- weighted cart, wagon or buggy
-catching- throwing heavy weighted ball
-wheelbarrow walking
-scooter board activities
-hitting a punching bags
-pulling apart resistant toys/objects
-squishing between pillows
-squeezing stress balls
-joint compressions
-heavy excercise- push ups, sit ups
-pounding/rolling out large play doh
-hanging from trapeze
-gross motor activities-obstacle courses, stretching and toning exercises


-slow rocking, rocking chair, lap, sitting, prone
-slow/linear swinging
-vibration- pillow/toy
-deep pressure massage
-joint compressions
-snuggling- in a sleeping bag, in bean bag chair, in large pillows
-weighted vest or collar
-lycra spandex clothing
-rythms-repetitionof slow, strong rhythms (song or Rhymes)
-heavy lifting/carrying/pushing/pulling
-warm bath
-stress balls
-chewing- gum, fruit rollup, beef jerky, bungee cord, tubing
-sucking- candy, curly straws
-hide-out/quiet corner- with large pillows


-fast spinning
-spinning on a chair, sit-n spin
-quick bouncing- on ball/lap
-wheeled toys- quick ride on wagon,trike
-chewing ice chips
-sucking-popsicles, frozen grapes,sour candy
-drinking ice water
-cold water play
-playing loud musical instruments
-cause and effect sound and light toy

Sensory Play
There are so many ways to help your child with his Sensory Processing Disorder that can be fun! 

Texture play
Get plastic containers large enough to let a child play in it and filled them up with things like pasta, rice, oatmeal, beans, etc. In each container, keep some plastic spoons and plastic measuring cups for scooping and playing. Be Careful it can be messy!

Its so much fun to squeeze the paint in our fingers and be messy!! Paint a picture together, just you and your child. It's best to purchase paints that are washable.

Clay Play.
Play with clay or Play-Doh. Let your child squish and squeeze and cover his hands.... take out rolling pin, cookie cutters ect. (see how to make play dough below)


Water Play
Let your child play in a backyard pool, public pool,  let him take a container of water outside to play with or you could let your child help you wash your pets/car or do the dishes with you.


Give your child a gentle massage. Massage your child's head run your fingers through there hair if he has trouble getting his hair brushed or washed. Tickle your child's face, back or legs. Use creams/lotions and gels with different scents to no scents. Purchase feathers or a few brushes that feel different in textures that your child likes. My child for example like to be touches with one of those cooking brushes made of silicone to rub over her skin.


 Master List of "Heavy Work" -Organizing Proprioceptive Input

The following are ideas of activities complied by OT's. The activities may be used at school or at home. It's
not a sensory diet but contains many oracticle activitiesthat can be incorporated to either the home or school
setting, or both.

1 "Hot dog" game, where the child lies across the end of a blanket and is rolled (ends up in rolled up blanket)

2 Carry heavy items (baskets with cardboard blocks, groceries with Mom, bag for teacher, etc.)

3 Climbing activities (such as playground equitment)

4 Swing from a trapeze bar

5 Tug of war

6 Push against a wall

7 Scooter board to and from a designated location (sit and lie on stomache use arms to propel)

8 Pull a heavy trash can

9 Mop the floor and help out Mom or the Janitor

10 Push and pull boxes with a few books in them

11 Pillow cases with a few stuffed animals (for weight) and drag and pull them up a ramp, incline or stairs

12 Place chairs at the desks at the end of the day, or take down at the beginning of the day

13 Erase and wash the chalkboard

14 Carry bean bags on head or shoulders and walk across a room, weighted vests, belts, wrist weights

15 Move chairs or equitment across the room

16 Use theraband or tubing attached to a door and let it snap (supervision required)

17 Take cushions off of the sofas, vaccum under them and put them back. can also climb on them, hide under,
jump in them and play sandwich games with them

18 Push furnature around the house, room to room, reaarange bedroom furniture

19 Pull other children around on a sheet or blanket

20 Push teacher around on a wheeled chair or scooter board

21 Pull someone while they sit on a scooter board holding  HULA HOOP

22 Rollar skate uphill

23 Pull yourself up a ramp on a scooter board

24 Walk up a ramp or incline or climbing activities

25 Yard work, including mowing the lawn, raking grass or leaves, pushing wheelbarrow

26 House work incuding vaccuming and mopping, carrying the bucket of water to clean with or water plants

27 Shovel sand into the wheelbarrow, wheel the wheelbarrow to the spot, dump out sand and rake it flat and smooth

28 Pull a friend or heavy items in a wagon

29 Push a friend in a wheelbarrow

30 Play wrestling, pushing game where two people face each other and hold hands and push (rules, no biting, no hitting,
or scratching) when one says stop the game must end right away

31 Open doors for people

32 Fill milk crates with books at home or in class back and forth

33 Chewy candy breaks, this eliminates chewing gum, there are lots of candy that takes longer to chew.

34 Squeeze toys, ones that do not make noise as that is disturbing to classroom

35 Chew on fishtank tubing

36 Milkshake rewards through a thin straw

37 Help teacher move mats and hang them up, or mommy at home

38 Sharpen pencils with a manual sharpener

39 Cut out items for classroom displays

40 Have student carry books in back pack from class to class or to the office (not to heavy)

41 Have student carry books in back pack from class to class or to the office (not to heavy) maybe a fannie pack
works better

42 Suck apple sauce through a straw

43 Tie therabrand around the fron of a chair and have child kick into it

44 Scrub rough surfaces with a brush

45 Wood projects with sanding and hammering

46 Wheelbarrow walks, tug of war, log roll races in a smaller group

47 Work with the librarian to push the book cart at school through library and halls

48 Chair push ups

49 Carrying heavy cushions

50 Falling into bean bag chair or crash mat

51 Jumping and rolling games

52 Pillow fights

53 Slowly roll ball over the child and apply pressure

54 Bounce on a hippity hop ball

55 Sandwich games, between bean bag chairs, matresses, cushions with light pressure on top layer

56 Play catch with a heavy ball, bounce and roll the heavy ball

57 Push weighted boxes across the carpet

58 Animal walks, crab walk, bear walk, army crawl

59 Playing in sandbox with damp heavier sand

60 Have the child push chairs into table after meal or at school

61 Push a cart filled with cans and have child unload cans to a bottom shelf on knees position

62 Have the child color and draw a rainbow on a large piece of paper on the floor

63 Have the child play with cars under the table, have them push the car in one hand and weight in the other

64 Have child put things away, or pass out items in classroom and at home to family members

65 After a bath squeeze the child and rub them with the towel

66 Use heavy quilts at night or weighted blankets and tight flannel pj's

67 Play row row row your boat sitting on the floor rowing aginst each other

68 Rice play, koosh balls, water play, jello play and putty

69 Two adults swing the child in a sheet

70 Push lunch cart and carry lunches around to the cafeteria

71 Staple paper to bulletin boards

72 Wash table, desks or counter tops

73 If there is a garden project at school have them dig, or at home too

74 Play with medicine balls (provided by gym teachers)

75 Mini trampoline

76 Run around track at school or house at home

77 Swimming, have child dive for weighted sticks in the pool

78 Dancing

79 Gymnastics

80 Sports activities involving running and jumping

81 Bath the dog

82 Wash the car

83 Carry the laundry basket

84 Sweep mop and wash the floors

85 Stack chairs

86 Jump or climb in inner tubes

87 Bounce a big ball up a hill

88 Fill up big toy trucks with heavy blocks, push with both hands and knock blocks down and over

89 Fill up child's suitcase with books and have them push it around the house

90 Fill up child's suitcase with books and have them pul it around the house

91 Go grocery shopping with the child's cart and have them tote it around the store

92 Have the child change sheets on the bed and toos dirty linens down the stairs

93 Have them push heavier ball across room (weighted large balls can be bought)

94 Go camping with heavy blanket and 4 chairs and have them set up and take down the blanket

95 Push square plastic nesting boxes with bean bags and small balls to and from the gym at school
(have them dump them out and pick them up again)

96 Have them sit in bean bag chairs for reading time or doing work or homework. Changing positions
to have consistent pressure imput. Definitley helpful for several students

97 Push a wheeled therapy stool while someone sits on it. If too heavy the person in stool can help
walk it around for student

98 Have kids pull themselves by a long jump ropewhile the other child is pulling themselves on a
scooter board with there legs crossed and off of the floor. You can also have the other child
pulling themselves as the other child holds the rope

99 Bounce a large while having student count down from 100

100 Before starting school work have the child pinch, roll or pull putty, Play with balloon filled
with flour, Give child firm pressure on shoulders, playground play, hanging from a bar, running
up stairs, wrap bandage around there forearms, Wear a tight watch.

101 Two children play tug of war with theraband (supservison only so they do not snap each other)

102 Use bubblepack as part of a obstacle course, child can jump and run on it, They love the noise

103 Tape a heavy phone book to the bottom of the child's seat, The teacher can have them move the
seat to different areas of class for different activities or at home. Push against classroom and
home walls

104 Isometric excersise breaks


Cloud Dough Recipe

What do you need to make Cloud Dough?

-8 cups of Flour
-1 cup of baby oil

How do you make Cloud Dough?

Mix the flour and baby oil together with your hands in a large container until the dough holds together when squeezed. It could take 3-5 minutes of mixing

Home Made Flubber  

1 1/2 cups warm water
2 cups Elmer white glue
food coloring •1 1/3 cups warm water
3 teaspoons borax

1.In one container mix 1 1/2 cups warm water, white glue and a few drops of food coloring.
2.In a second container mix 1 1/3 cups of warm water and Borax.
3.Mix the Borax mixture into the glue mixture until combined. (may be some liquid in bottom of container).
4.Place flubber on a tray and let stand for a few minutes before playing with it!
5.Store in air tight container.

Home Made Moon Sand 


Mix together:

4 cups sand

2 cups corn flour

1 cup of water

Home Made Finger Paint


What do you need to make finger paints?

Food coloring
Plastic cups


How do you make finger paints?

Add 2 T of sugar into a sauce pan.

Add 1/3 cup of flour to the saucepan as well

Mix with 2 cups of water and whisk until smooth. Turn on the heat and stir continually until the mixture thickens

Pour into your plastic cups equally. You'll one cup for every color of paint you'd like to make.

Mix in a couple drops of food coloring and stir until completely dissolved. Let cool completely




Homemade Bath Crayons

Buy some glycerin soap at a craft store. Melt it in the microwave, add food coloring, and pour into a mold. I used an ice cube tray. You can also add essential oils if you go for scents, though I find that a bit unnecessary for bath crayons. Takes about an hour to cool completely, then pop out of the mold and you have crayons!

 Rainbow Shaving Cream Bath Paints

What you'll need:

foaming shaving cream - I got the stuff for sensitive skin
food colouring
container - I used a silicone muffin pan and it was beyond perfect
paint brushes

How to make it:

1. squirt some foaming shaving cream in each of the 6 compartments of your muffin tin
2. add food colouring to each one to make whatever colours you want - I did rainbow colours. Mix them up well.
3. give to your kiddo in the tub and let them have a blast!

Baked Cotton Balls

what you need

1 cup flour

1 cup water

cotton balls

food coloring (optional)

what you do

1. combine and mix the flour and water

 I added a little extra water because it was pretty thick

2. Pour mixture into separate bowls (if you're going to make different colors)

3. Add food coloring OR use as is. (you can paint them after they are baked)

4. Dip your cotton balls into the mixture. Fully coat them and then place on a greased cookie sheet.

5. Bake for 45 minutes-an hour at 300 degrees

You can also make them touch on the cookie sheet and they'll bake together to form whatever shape you arranged them in!

 Whip Cream Paints

Use whipped cream to make an edible paint for your kids. They can get very messy and its safe, even for babies

What do you need to make it?

electric mixer
1 cup whipped cream (the whip-your-own kind that comes in a carton)
food coloring

How do you make it?

Put 1 cup of whipped cream in a mixing bowl and mix with electric mixer. Add food coloring until you have the desired color. Paint and have fun!

 Playing In A Pool Of Flour

Shared By a Parent:  I went to the grocery store and bought a 20lb bag of all purpose flour. Dumped it into a plastic,blow up kiddie pool and let the boys at it. Easier to clean up then sand and the boys loved the feel of it!!

 Halloween sensory bag

 I made this bag of "water balls" for my spd kiddo. We have played with them in plastic shoe box totes, but this time I threw them in a bag. Traveling, waiting rooms, grocery store. I've taken it everywhere. Big help!!! Thought I'd share our! sucess!!! Jessica Hogue

 Playing In Jello

 This is Ally she is four...loves to swing. She could probably swing all day

 Glow Water

 Baby oil and blue water sensory bag

 Coloring with ice

 Cloud dough

 Edible pudding paint


 Sensory Squares

 Milk painting:)

Sensory Activity Table  

Here is our very simple obstacle course. The hop scotch was a gift but I think it came from cvs or somewhere like that. We also have a hoola hoop and nap mat for other "tricks". Or instead of hop scotch we might do animal walks (even just a few big hops).

My Ian getting on the swing....his favorite!

Here is a picture of my son, Nicholas, last summer. He received Crayola's Sidewalk Paint for his 4th birthday and after a long afternoon of using the paintbrush and the roller outside I got him to actually finger paint on the sidewalk. It was such a huge step for him because he hated getting his hands dirty and didn't like the feeling of anything sticky or mushy on his hands. He still doesn't like his hands dirty and washes them often but he's much better about not freaking out about it, now he just washes often and needs to have baby wipes available when we are not home. It's a therapy tool I would have never thought of or tried with him. I'm so happy he got that as a gift for his birthday last year.