Sensory Circuits at home: A guide to helping children stay regulated while staying at home.

Vicky Sweeney

There is a lot of change in our lives these days due to the impact of Covid 19. We are out of routine, lacking predictability in our days and can be off form, anxious or a bit stressed, our children are no different. We have adapted the principals of Sensory Circuits applied for use at home, to help your children stayed regulated and give you a toolbox of activities to stay sane during the stay at home period.

Sensory circuits work on three types of activities:

  1. Alerting

  2. Organizing

  3. Calming

I have listed inside and outside activity suggestions for each type below.

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HOW TO USE:

  • Allow 20 – 30 mins for a full circuit

  • Use circuits 1-3 times daily with your children

  • Pick

    1. 1 Alerting activity

    2. 3-5 Organising activities (as an obstacle course)

    3. 1 Calming activity

  • Follow the sequence alerting, then organising then calming. Then you are finished.

  • CARRY OUT YOUR OWN RISK ASSESSMENT: ALWAYS WORK WITHIN YOUR CHILD’S LEVEL OF COMFORT AND TOLERANCE FOR THESE ACTIVITES

ALERTING ACTIVITIES: 7 -10 minutes

Provides vestibular and proprioceptive input to the brain, allows fluid to move through the ears while moving and jumping and helps children to become more alert. Think high intensity.

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ORGANISING ACTIVITIES: 7-10mins

Works on multi sensory processing and balance. This involves a series of movements in order, children must organize their body, plan their movement and carry it through. This helps with focus and attention span.

THINK INDOOR OR OUTDOOR OBSTACLE COURSE!!!! Involve 3-5 activities the child must move his way through for example:

 

  • Roly poly/log rolls

  • Climbing over or under items furniture, mats, duvets, tunnels etc

  • Throwing a beanbag/basketball/crumpled up newspaper at a target

  • Arm push up against a wall

  • Hopscotch or jumping on items taper to floor

  • Shooting hoops

  • Jumping over hurdles or a rope

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CALMING ACTIVITIES: 7-10 mins

This focuses on calmness and relaxation after the circuit is over and involves lots of breath work, deep pressure and heavy muscle work.

  • Being rolled up in a blanket

  • Lying under a heavy duvet or bean bag

  • Gentle pretend squishing with ball or cushions

  • Breathing activities such as blow football, practice of belly breathing, blowing bubbles from a wand or in milk/orange juice with a straw

CARRY OUT YOUR OWN RISK ASSESSMENT: ALWAYS WORK WITHIN YOUR CHILD’S LEVEL OF COMFORT AND TOLERANCE FOR THESE ACTIVITES