The winter holidays provide a memorable and remarkable time for sharing, family, giving and for sensory stimulation. Let your holidays be sensational by taking advantage of ways to properly stimulate everyone’s sensory system without over-stimulating it. These Thanksgiving, Hanukkah or Christmas sensory ideas are our top 5 ways to get the most sensory benefit out of your holidays, from sensory crafts, to visual stimulation.
1) Sensory Crafts - Decorating Is a Participation Sport!
Make decorating a family event where everyone can benefit from this hands-on experience. Decorations can be made encouraging creativity and fine motor skills but even store-bought ones require motor manipulation, hand-eye coordination, and motor planning. So, let everyone participate this season to make your holiday sparkle.
2) Watch the Lights for Visual Stimulation
Take time to watch the lights and some time to reflect on the meaning behind “light” during this time of year. Take a ride to see a light show or ride around at night to view the lights. At this dark time of year, just one small light can be magnificent and noticeable by those with low vision or visual challenges.
3) Listen to the Music
Music is special around the holidays and you can reap the benefits of either stimulating or soothing auditory input. Many light shows combine lighting with music for a full outdoor sensory room experience. Have a family song night or gather to sing your favorite holiday tunes. Pull out the instruments and let the music move you and those around you.
4) Smells and Scents Make for Aromatherapy Joy
Cookies baking? Special dinner for the holiday? A kitchen full of delightful scents can be soothing and relaxing and provide an olfactory sensation like no other. Use this time of year to take a stroll down memory lane and pull out your favorite recipes. Add in some aromatherapy with cinnamon and spice and create a sensory kitchen with scents that waft through your entire home.
5) Gifts that Keep Giving
There is still time to get a sensational gift for someone special. A bubble tube or new sensory room may be the best gift for someone with special sensory needs. It is the gift that will keep giving long after the holidays are over. With sound systems, lighting, projections, touch and motion, a multisensory room can mean a sensational holiday all year round!
We hope these holiday and Christmas sensory ideas have inspired you to engage in some festive sensory activities! Remember to be careful and be sure your lighting and electrical cords are in good shape and safe to use. Have a safe, meaningful holiday season and a happy new year!