In the post, we are sharing Tactile Sensory Activities. All the activities are also effective in ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder). When the touch sensory works properly, children are safe and organized enough in their bodies to be able to assist and respond to any other sensory information they encounter every day.
They can also filter out sensitive information that is important (the feeling of the toy they walked on – OUCH!) and not so important (the feeling of their shirt on their arms).
For most children, simply participating in day-to-day play activities that allow for exploration, touch and movement allow for the healthy development of the tactile sense.
Here are a few of our favorite activities, developed by our team of pediatric therapists, to promote the development of the touch system through sensory play.
Tactile Sensory Activities for Children
These are some of our Tactile Sensory Activities for Autism and also great for toddlers.
Make pancakes! It’s a simple way to provide a large proprioceptive input and can be expanded into a visual motor activity as well! Ask the kids to roll their game dough in a ball, then use both hands to push it flat to make the pancake.
For more information about hands and arms, ask them to stand up, pushing their entire weight in their hands to get their pancake as flat as they can. Once they have some pancakes, give them a spatula and see if they can play chef, flip the pancakes back and forth one at a time!
Make a pizza! Begin with a large pancake (see above). That’ll be the pizza crust. Tell the children they must make the toppings for their pizza! First, have them roll small pieces of play dough into small, thin pieces using their Super Fingers. That’ll be the shredded cheese, so they’ll need a handful to cover the pizza.
Then, have them roll the dough into several little balls, again using their Super Fingers. They will gently squeeze the balls into small circles to do the pepperoni! Have them fill their pizzas, creating their own ideas for toppings as well! Rolling small balls or small thin “snakes” such as this one is an excellent way to work on dynamic and coordinated movements of the thumb, first finger, and second finger – the exact type of movement you need to color and write by hand!
Roll a Snowball Make three “snowballs” out of the dough, using both hands to roll the dough. Stack them together for a snowman! Add beads to the eyes, nose, mouth,and buttons! Stick a couple of toothpicks in for arms!
Pinching practice: This activity is great strengthening for these super fingers! Roll a long snake shape out of the playdough and stick it onto the table. Pinch the dough with their super fingers, starting at one end, and work their way to the other end until the snake is flat.
Squeeze and pass: It is simple, but perfect to strengthen the whole hand. Simply ask the children to tighten a ball of dough in one hand as hard as they can and then cross over to the other hand to do the same on the other side. Try it with a favorite song.
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