Happy New Year! Hope 2016 will be a successfully sensory year : ) Hope you had a great time celebrating at a new year’s party! Parties are so much fun, or at least they should be. Many times they can be stressful for sensory kids and for their parents.
Did you ever spend hours hanging up balloons, decorating a cake and a zillion cupcakes, and arranging the teenage mutant ninja turtle party decoration on the table just right so that it won’t topple down into the potato chips bowl… only to have your sensory kid stomp off into the direction of his room when all the kids start arriving???
So start this year off right with some crucial sensory party resolutions:
* I will not invite the whole class this year. It might be what everyone is doing, but it might not be right for your child. Choose a few close friends and this way control the noise level which might be sensory sensitive for some kids.
* I will involve my child in the preparations. Store bought decorations might look more professional but there are tons of sensory crafts ideas you can try to do together before the party: decorate party favor bags using stamps, or prepare cookie dough and use theme related cookie-cutters for calming deep pressure input.
* I will have age appropriate activities planned in advance. You might have had your heart set out on hiring a magician, or putting on a puppet show- but expecting kids to focus while seated nicely with their hands folded neatly in their lap is not so realistic. A better idea to try is setting up sensory stations such as the following ad let them wonder about however they so choose:
* Play dough/kinetic sand treasure hunt stand.
* buckets filled with soapy water and use rug beaters and ropes to make bubbles.
* obstacle courses
* I will not allow clutter from new toys. Too many cheap birthday presents will just crowd the toy room and over stimulate. Instead ask your guests to donate a toy to a child in need or combine funds to purchased one special toy.
Perhaps it’s not how we envisioned our child’s party but it’s important to keep in mind that we are celebrating for their sake and not in order to get into the Grapevine column in the local newspaper as The Best birthday bash of 2016. Happy Birthday!