Having to stay indoors due to freezing temperatures is tough on most families. Children need activity and stimuli. Kids with sensory issues not only need this, they crave it and will often act out if they do not get this need met.
I feel like a spend a large chunk of time trying to find new sensory projects to do with my son during long and harsh Illinois winters. I am forever thankful to all the mom bloggers who have given me so many ideas.
As I’ve said before, my son is a seeker, meaning he actively seeks out stimuli. It’s my job to present him with stimuli that is appropriate. If I am not doing my job correctly, I am cleaning up messes from oranges being used as balls in my kitchen or scrubbing fingerpainted yogurt off my kitchen chairs. If you’re wondering, both of these things occurred in the last 24 hours.
Project #1: Learning the Alphabet with Kinetic Sand
Today’s first project included a sensory tray with kinetic sand and alphabet molds. For the sensory tray, I ordered some kinetic sand and alphabet molds. The alphabet molds shown here were actually old jello jiggler molds that I found at goodwill, but they sell similar ones on amazon.
If you are wondering why he is wearing a hat in all of these pictures, I think it’s a sensory thing. Once he gets his hat on in the morning, it’s very difficult to get him to take it off. As with most children, I choose my battles.
I let Jack explore the sand and choose the letters he wanted to mold. I modeled how to press the mold down into the sand and push it out to see the letter. It was a great way to get his sensory needs met while encouraging motor skills development. During the activity, we talked about the letter he chose, the sound it made, and some simple words that started with that letter.
Project #2: Twinkle Twinkle Puffy Paint
For the puffy paint, I mixed equal parts of shaving cream and clear washable glue in a baggie with a couple of drops of yellow food coloring and a little shake of glitter.
Puff Paint Recipe:
1/4 cup shaving cream
1/4 cup washable glue
3 drops yellow food coloring gel
a few sprinkles of glitter or small glob of glitter glue
Directions: Put all in a quart size baggie and mix up with a popsicle stick. Snip off a very small corner of the baggie so it can be used as a makeshift icing bag.
I love the way color pops on black paper so we decided to do a sparkly yellow on black scrapbook paper. My son has always loved the song Twinkle, Twinkle, so I modeled making a star with the puff paint while singing our favorite song. Then I gave him a few qtips and let him go to town. He got upset a few times because he said his did not look like a star. I explained that his art was “abstract” which means it can look like different things to different people. He seemed to accept this interpretation.
I was a little worried about the cleanup, but the puff paint solution washed right off with a kitchen sponge and a little water and dish soap. I framed his masterpiece in this amazing present from my mom that opens up to change out children’s artwork without having to take down the frame. If you’re child is into artwork, I would highly recommend one!
What are some of your favorite indoor art projects? I’d love to hear your ideas!