It’s the summer and luckily kids don’t get sick as often as the winter…So why is that so many people I’ve been speaking to either have sick kids at home or are sick themselves. Bummer… I guess nasty viruses don’t really care if you had great plans for the pool or the beach. So how do you deal with your kid when they’re feeling miserable from a fever or cold and miserable from missing out on all the summer fun? As much as possible you try to ease their symptoms and bring the fun to themJ The following are a couple of sensory ideas you can try with your kids to help distract them and reduce their discomfort to a minimum.
Calming and cooling sensory bins- Lots of times, although we appreciate the benefits of sensory bins, we push off doing it because “it’s too messy and it takes so long to clean up!” Well if you’re staying home anyway with a sick kids and you have lots of time to kill why not prepare them a calming and cooling sensory bin. You can use a big bowl if you don’t have a bin and now that it’s the summer you can let them explore wearing as little clothing as possible so that they can benefit from the tactile input and you have one less thing to worry about cleaning. Here’s an idea to try:
Cool whip sensory bin- for toddlers who put everything in their mouths you can create a sensory bin by whipping up some cream and placing it in the fridge to cool. After having cooled, place in a big bowl on the floor and let your toddler play with it. For additional sensory input Mary Catherine, from Fun-A-Day!, suggests adding lime Jell-O powder to the cream to heighten the scent. For a variation, she also suggests freezing the whipped cream mixture in ice-cube trays and then placing the frozen cubes in a bowl. (For older kids, she suggest using cold shaving cream). Check out her site for more info: http://fun-a-day.com/edible-toddler-sensory-activities/
On a similar, and less messy, note you can create calming down sensory bottles. With a few simple materials you can create a glittery sensory bottles to help calm and regulate a sick child. For directions on how to create your own one check out Katie’s blog on “The Gift of Curiosity”: http://www.giftofcuriosity.com/glittery-calm-down-bottles/?utm_source=fun-a-day.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=pubexchange_module
Fun bath- when your child is running a fever a good way to cool them off is to give them a bath. Some kids aren’t the most avid bath goes even when they are feeling well. The following is a couple of sensory ideas to make bath time more pleasant.
-Bath bubbles: you can add scented food coloring for additional sensory input.
-Body painting in the bath: before the actual bath, for contained, messy, sensory fun. For more fun bath ideas check out: http://www.growingajeweledrose.com/2012/09/15-super-fun-baths-for-kids.html
Cool Compress- placing a cold towel or terry cloth head band on your child’s head cools down body temperature and provides calming deep pressure input as well.
Popsicles- when our kids are sick they might have a sore throat and may not be up to eating or drinking. A good idea is to keep popsicles around which provides hydration and the oral input of licking and sucking a Popsicle has calming effect. Try making home-made ice-pops to cut down on sugar and carb intake.
In addition you can try making cool and soothing Jell-O. Let them cut out fun shapes with cookie cutters for additional sensory input.
Vitamin L (love)- deep pressure always provides calming sensory input and giving our kids lots of loving deep pressure hugs when they are feeling a little under the weather is a great way to improve their mood. If your baby or toddler is unwell putting her in a baby carrier and keeping her close will be beneficial as well. When they are feeling a little better going for a long walk in a carriage or push bicycle will provide calming vestibular input.