Sleep is So Important

Sleep is an incredibly important factor to healthy development, but a large number of kids do not get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation in children can result in hyperactivity, inattention, impulsivity, oppositional behavior, moodiness, irritability, and difficulty waking up in the morning. Below is a list of the amount of sleep that is recommended for each age. Amount of sleep needed by age Newborns (0 to 3 months): 14 to 17 hours of sleep Infants (4 to 11 months): 12 to {Read More}

Sensory Search in Rice and Beans

An activity that uses the tactile and visual motor sensory systems is to search for items in a box of rice and beans. You get a small box (shoe box size or larger) and put in some dry rice and beans so that it is about half way full. Then you need to get small toys that will be used in the rice and beans. You will need to take pictures of the toys so that the client can look {Read More}

Picky Eating and Transitioning to New Foods

In Occupational Therapy, we work with eating, and often work with kids that don’t like to eat food.  Sometimes the problem is due to muscle difficulties, but every once in a while, I see a client who does not have the underlying muscle weakness, and they have the oral sensory defensiveness to tastes and textures of different foods. Most of the time, kids like this are on the Autism spectrum, but not necessarily. They could have general sensory processing problems {Read More}

Sensory Painting with Pasta and Edible Paint

When working with a sensory group with food aversions, I needed to make the activities fun as well as give exposure to some of the sensations that go along with food.  I wanted to have the food textures, smells and tastes available while making the activity about creating and not about eating.  I chose cooked pasta as the painting tools/paint brushes.  Then I made edible paint using plain yogurt with Kool-aid added for the color, flavor, and smell. We made {Read More}

Sweet Potato Play Dough

This Summer, I was running a group with kids that avoid food, so we played with all kinds of foods to get some pleasant associations with the smells and tastes. I wanted to make every day food into a fun activity, and one of the things we did was make play dough out of sweet potatoes. I used cooked sweet potato, marshmallow fluff, and cinnamon. We mashed the ingredients all together until it was the consistency of play dough, and {Read More}