Summer is in full swing! The longer days and warmer weather can be wonderful, but for kids with sensory issues, this time may be especially challenging. Changes in schedule and the heat can be frustrating and anxiety provoking.
Here are a few suggestions and tips to help keep your family engaged, entertained and cool all summer long.
Dress the Part
Encourage kids to wear light colored clothes that are a couple of sizes larger. Soft, lightweight and breathable fabrics like cotton and bamboo blends will help kids feel cool and comfortable.
Water, Water Everywhere
Fill a spray bottle with cool water to spray on hands, feet, neck or head for whenever the heat becomes “too much.”
Have ice-cold drinks easily accessible, and sip water (non-carbonated and caffeine-free) constantly. These small adjustments will keep your family hydrated and refreshed, inside and out.
Use “Cooling” Essential Oils
If your little one can tolerate fragrance, create a blend of cool-smelling, 100% natural essential oils. Combine peppermint, rosemary, eucalyptus or tea tree oils on a handkerchief, tissue or in a diffuser – the light fragrance can clear the air and your head.
Indoor Play Ideas
The sun is the strongest between 11:00 AM and 3:00 PM; try to minimize outdoor activity during these times by planning some indoor activities:
- Learn Yoga
- Play “I-Spy”
- Play dress up
- Plan a dance party
- Go on a scavenger hunt
- Play a board game / Plan a game night
- Have a themed movie day
- Set up an arts and crafts station
- Water balloon painting
- Play with shaving cream or soap foam
- Blow bubbles
- Plan a cooking activity – food art is a blast!
- Make homemade playdough or slime
Planning these activities as a playdate may also be a fun idea to improve on social skills. Encouraging structured, social interactions will support your child’s well-being and allow them to confidently explore new activities.
Pool and water activities are a summer MUST. Going to a nearby splash pad, playing with water balloons and running around in a backyard sprinkler provide hours of entertainment.
Please remember that SAFETY is particularly important to maintain a fun environment for kids and parents alike. Water activities require close attention from parents to make sure all kiddos are safe.
When the temperature goes up, it’s time to cool down with some sweet summer treats. Keeping options like popsicles, yogurt bites, frozen fruit and ice cream keep your family feeling refreshed when the sun is high in the sky and you’re looking for a way to chill out!
Making these treats homemade is also a fun indoor activity!
Visit a zoo, farmers market, playground, build an obstacle course – the options are endless! And these are great opporunities for sensory play. Don’t forget the sunscreen! If your little one is bothered by the texture of lotion sunscreen, consider a spray sunscreen and sunglasses, sun hats or sun-blocking shirts.
Public Indoor Activities
Create an indoor adventure by visiting a local museum, library, aquarium, air-conditioned trampoline park or arcade. There are plenty of fun things to do inside in the summer and still get a change of scenery. Many public places have admission discounts for the summer months and for kiddos with special needs.
Summer gives you and your family the opportunity to share new experiences and make lasting memories. It’s a chance to play, rest and enjoy a change of pace. We hope this list gives you and your family plenty of ways to beat the summer heat and have fun this summer!
Want to learn more about BHW’s programs? Contact us today at (800) 249-1266 to get started.