Outdoor Sensory Breaks to help Improve Attention in Kids.
Children with sensory issues or ADHD can benefit a great deal by spending more time outdoors. The freedom of movement, fresh air and just having the feel of being outdoors can help with filtering an overload of sensory information. This could in turn help with focus, attention and concentration.
Here are some sensory breaks or outdoor activities that can help kids who need a bit of an attention boost.
- Being out in the Playground
The playground is a great place for an overall workout. Activities such as climbing, sliding and swinging allow the muscles to stretch and pull, thereby providing for an amazing sensory filter. Try taking smaller playground breaks several times a day, rather than one long break to improve sensory integration response and benefits. Make sure when you’re taking your kids outdoors, they are well supervised at all times.
- Play with Sand
Sand is great for providing sensory breaks and also offer a wonderful workout for the hands, fingers and forearms in preparation for writing or other fine motor skills. It can be used indoors or outside. Let your kids feel through the sand, make sand art or you can even try hiding small toys in the sand for your kids to find them through digging with hands or tools.
- Play with Water
Water is one of the most therapeutic sensory systems that we have and one of the least expensive. You could use cups for pouring and measuring water, sponges for fine motor work and squeezing, and bottles for spraying. Let your kids try it too and when everything is done, ask them to clean up with a towel or washcloth.
- Create a Sensory Tub
This can be done both indoors and outdoors. You can use rice, sand, beads or even putty to create a sensory tub. Put in your favorite small objects, coins, beads or buttons in the sensory bin and let your kids hunt for colors, size or shape. You can also put items from the garden such as rocks, petals, leaves, sticks or bark to hide in your bin.
- Introduce them to Gardening
Gardening can offer an amazing learning experience for special needs kids. It teaches organizational skills, science, respect for the environment and most importantly, how to grow plants and food. Gardening activities such as digging, plowing, planting and watering can give a heavy workout for your kids, as well as help them move and use all their senses.
- Using the Bike
Biking is a wonderful outdoor activity that encourages the use of different muscle groups. For kids who have sensory issues or are less athletic, it provides an individual sport, coordination, endurance training and overall well-being. Make sure the bike is well fitting and the child is using a proper helmet while riding it.
Kids with special needs can benefit a lot from spending time outdoors. It helps them get better at coordination and also improves their attention.