We all want calm kids! Let's face it, we want calm parents, teachers and OTs too! Here are some quick ideas to help your child (or self) to calm down!
Inspired by the sea, I have called these my Sea Life Sensory Solutions!
1. Puffer Fish Puff - Puff your cheeks like a puffer fish. Fill your cheeks with air and hold for 5 seconds. Blow quickly or slowly with silly noises.
2. Clam Cuddle - Cuddled yourself like a clam. Place your hands on the opposite shoulders and squeeze. Encourage deep breathing at the same time.
3. Turtle Tongue - Poke your tongue out like a turtle pokes out its neck. Stick out your tongue and quickly hide it again.
4. Starfish Stretch - Stretch out like a starfish. Place your arms up over your head and stretch out wide. Stretch your legs out wide too! Encourage deep breathing at the same time.
These sensory solutions are based on sensory processing theory. Anxiety and stress have been linked with an amplification of tactile or sensory defensiveness as stress is a behavioural response to environmental input*. Anxiety may be both a cause and an effect of the predominance of the protective system**. Tantrums or meltdowns are outward demonstrations of the stress and anxiety within your child. They are responding to their "fight, flight or fright" (sympathetic nervous systems) ... their perceived reality. Read more about tactile defensiveness and sensory processing here and here.
These activities facilitate self regulation through breathing and proprioceptive input into muscles, skins and joints. They may be incorporated into a sensory diet. Read more about sensory diets here.
Teach these sensory solutions to your children so they have strategies in their "tool kit" to calm down when the need arises. Teachers may implement these with a whole class.
Best of all, I have made these strategies into a FREE PRINTABLE! Download your copy HERE today!
* Bundy, A, Lane, S.J., Murray, E.A. (2002) Sensory Integration Theory and Practice (2nd Edition)
** Ayers, A. J (1964). Tactile functions: their relations to hyperactive and perceptual motor behavior. american Journal of Occupational Therapy, 18, 6-11
Cindy is a registered Occupational Therapist practising in Sydney Australia. She has two young children who are a constant source of inspiration and learning. Cindy loves working creatively to help children to reach their potential, finding opportunities in everyday living and making learning fun. Cindy is the author of the Occupational Therapy blog Your Kids OT.
The information on this site is general in nature. The activities are safe for most children, however, you should consult an Occupational Therapist or health professional to address specific movement, sensory or other medical conditions.
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Hi, I'm Cindy and I am an Occupational Therapist. I enjoy working creatively with children to see them reach their potential. Read more about me here.
Disclaimer: The information on this site is general in nature and should be used for educational and entertainment purposes. The activities are safe for most children, however, you should consult an Occupational Therapist or health professional to address specific movement, sensory or other medical conditions. This blog does not replace formal therapeutic professional advice given by a health professional or medical practitioner. Reviews and endorsements of products will only be made based on my expertise and personal opinion; and deemed worthy of such endorsement. The opinions shared in sponsored content will always be my own and not that of the advertising company or brand. Content, advertising space or posts will be clearly identified if paid, affiliated or sponsored. Affiliate links may be found throughout this website in advertising. This means that if you follow through with a purchase from these links, Your Kids OT will receive a percentage of the sale. Your Kids OT undertakes to meet the requirements of the "Social Media Policy" as published by Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). Further information about this policy can be found here.
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