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Opportunities For Sensory Experiences In Everyday Life

The following suggestions are from:  Samuelís Sight website.
(this website no longer exists but the information is too good to take out) 

Iím presenting them here to give you some ideas of how to stimulate your child as much as possible. Contrary to what you may be told by Drs or other professionals your child can react and relate to his/her surroundings even if only slightly. However it takes work and repetition and time.

(Please note: any spelling errors in this section are by the author of the site, not myself. There were some words I was unable to figure out but as this is a direct quote they were left as is. )

Very few activities we participate in everyday life involve just one sense. Many things are "multi-sensory". For example, when having a bath a child could experience the sensations of:

       different soap smells
different bubble baths or bath oils
sound of running water
warm and cool water
smooth flannel/scratchy Ioofah/sponge movement in water being touched when adult is washing them watching rubber duck or other bath toys moving having water poured over body/head being dried with warm towel

The following suggestions for sensory experiences have been grouped under the headings of the specific primary senses. Previously we may not have considered each of the senses so specifically. When using sensory activity, we are encouraged to think about the individual's primary senses and ways of stimulating them.


       shiny materials - paper/mirrors/wrapping paper/Christmas decorations/beads
coloured lights - torches/fibre optics
cellophane covers/fairy lights
light box
black and white - books/rattles/socks/mobiles fluorescent materials
bright colours and strong contrast
toys that move to encourage tracking


       try to provide a variety of pitches, tones, rhythms, music AND silence
clocks; metronomes, whistles; bird warbles
paper sounds - cellophane/crinkly paper/biscuit or chocolate box wrappings/greaseproof paper/newspaper
blowing sounds - balloons / straws / empty
bottle / bubble pipe / squeakers
musical instruments:- drums / shakers / chime bars / glockenspiel / piano / flute / trumpet / organ / electronic keyboard / cymbals / triangle
water sounds - tap in kitchen sink / bath / washing machine / pouring
environmental sounds - cars / wind / dog barking / bird singing / footsteps/doors opening and closing
music - nursery rhymes / action songs / classical / relaxation/opera/folk/ choral


       to identify person - perfume / soap / deodorant / powder / shampoo
to identify rooms - pot pourri / cleaner (eg. Pine-O-Clean) / cooking
to identify toys - eg. vanilla scent on rattle
shops - Cookie Man / butchers / bakery / hairdressers / florist / fruit'n'veg/ hospital and doctor's surgery
plants and herbs (dried herbs)
aromatherapy - relaxing and reviving - burning essential oils / massage
bath oils / bubble bath/shampoos / soaps
strong smells - eg. Vicks / pepper / spices


       Linked with sense of smell
Consider different textures, consistencies and temperature
Drinks - tea / coffee / milo, Ecco, juices, shakes, fizzy drinks
soups / dips
ice cream / ice blocks
Jams / honey/spreads (vegemite, peanut butter, nutella) preserves - pickles / mustard, spices sauces - eg. Tomato / soy/satay sweet - eg. chocolate / peppermint


       rough / smooth; soft / hard; wet/dry; warm / cold; sticky / messy / vibration
breeze - through door or window / car window / on walk / on top of hill / at beach
 warm / cold air from hair dryer / heater / fan
outside - leaves / bark / bricks / grass/concrete / gravel / rocks / fences - wooden, metal / rocks / sand / snow / pine cones / shells / sunshine and shade / water
touch from other people: massage / bath / changing positions
everyday objects: cotton wool / wool / sheepskin / feather duster / string / door mat / bath mat / brushes / ice pack / hot water bottle / rubber gloves / rubber soap holder / scouring pad / mop head / sponges / beads
messy play: hands / feet / whole body with shaving cream / dough / pasta / cornflakes / wet sand / finger paint / slime / flour and water paste / bath gels / jelly / salt / lentils / rice / chick peas
different textured fabrics: silk / velvet / cotton / satin / wool / corduroy / fur
vibration: battery-operated toothbrush / facial massager / car vacuum cleaner / washing machine / clothes dryer / vibrating cushion

 Movement / Proprioception / Kinaesthesia / Vestibular

        swings; hammocks
swinging or rolling in blanket / sheet / sheepskin / towel / satin sheets
slippery dips; sliding down hill; rolling down hill seesaw; roundabouts; merry-go-round on trampoline; water bed; large inflatable balls; inner tubes moving to music - action songs or free expression horse riding; riding bikes in swimming pool- being held; lilo in car - roundabouts; steep hills

 More Sensory Stimulation Ideas:

Physical Therapy
Use of the stander
Massage on legs, arms, tummy, back, etc.
Using a vibrator/massager
Rubbing/scratching the back of her head or top of her back to get her to lift her head.

Oral Therapy
Using a finger to rub the gums
Rubbing the inside of the cheek in a circular motion to get her to keep her tongue in while eating.
Using an electric toothbrush on her mouth or on her lips.
Letting the spoon hit the corners of the lips while bringing food in (stimulates lips to close)

Vision Therapy
Putting objects on a dark background to help focusing
Shining a flashlight on an object for her to see it more easily
Using yellows, oranges, and reds because these are more easily seen
Practicing tracking by moving an object on the dark background while shining the
    light on the object
Finding her focal area and slowly moving objects in that area (for tracking)

Using a switch toy to stimulate motion of arms or feet while shining a flashlight on  
the object to stimulate vision.
Playing on noisy light toys to stimulate interaction and vision tracking
Playing with crinkle-paper toys to stimulate hand movements (if the crinkle-paper is
shiny or holographic, it can also stimulate eye motion)

Other pages in this section:
Sensory Stimulation

Choosing a Toy

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August 16, 2001- January 12, 2005

This website is funded in loving memory of Jason S. by his mother Kammy

The information on this site is provided by families, caregivers, and professionals who are or have been caring for a child with Hydranencephaly.

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