Sensory seeking and feedback.


Emma Dalmayne


What helps my children will help yours though maybe in different ways. If your child has sensory seeking behaviours this article is for you.


Oral- mouthing so chewing, licking and biting.

Tactile-your sense of touch , a child who likes to seek out tactile sensory experiences may stroke and touch many different textures.

Olfactory – sense of smell, so lots f sniffing and seeking new attractive smells.

Priopreception-your sense of where you are in space, where your feet end and the floor begins. Children who have Prioprective seeing tendencies may stamp , tread heavily and sit down hard for the impact.

Vestibular- a vestibular seeker will enjoy spinning and rocking, they may enjoy swinging and rocking .

Visual-the sense of sight. A visual seeker will enjoy looking at different lights and colours.

Many children enjoy tilting their heads to one side to watch car wheels spin, or squinting to change their visual perception.

Many of your children may display sensory seeking behaviours including oral , tactile and olfactory .

They may bounce, spin and rock.

This may include for oral seekers chewing on their collars, mouths or hands and licking.

To help redirect this there are Chewys and chewlery available online and for children who only choose to chew on material a clean washcloth or wristband will help.

For children that are tactile seeking having a bag of items to feedback from is a good idea. Encourage them to touch a variety of textures for example your bag could contain first aid crinkly blanket ( space blanket) , bubble wrap, soft fleecy materials, pine cones, and carpet square samples. Astros turf samples and feathers , large seashells and smooth cool stones to feel.

Some stretchy toys are great to fiddle with for tactile feedback , spongy toys and rough items like tree bark.

Empty washing up bottles are very good for olfactory sensory seekers. Simply wash out ,dry and put in colourful Pom poms soaked in vanilla essence or lavender. An empty jar with a few holes in the lid stiffed with lavender is a good calming tool. Make sure they are done up good and tight , a glue gun is excellent for this.

For children who are sensory seeking by bouncing provide crash mats and trampolines for priopreceptive feedback.

Spinning and rocking is seeking to balance the vestibular sense , swinging your child gently in a hammock shaped sheet is great for this as are sit on spinning toys.

Visual seekers will enjoy bubble tubes, fibre optics, sand timers and light up toys are that are visually stimulating. For more visual fun try tinted lenses glasses and a bubble machine.

These are all things my children enjoy and I do hope they help yours. If your child is flooding the bathroom , playing in the toilet or and tipping your shampoos out everywhere they are sensory seeking. They are not misbehaving so redirection is what's called for. Buy a tuff tray usually used by builders for mixing cement and mortar on, or an old baby bath will do or a water play table and set out some sensory play,

Sensory play is easy and fun and needed for our children with sensory needs.

It helps to ground and regulate them.

Some cheap,easy examples are:

Water play, bubbles, foamy soap , bath paints and empty bottles for pouring.

Rice, lentils, pasta and dried beans for pouring. Never use black beans or kidney beans as they are toxic until cooked.

These are things that will help calm and stimulate your children and in turn keep your sanity intact , above all they are fun and children learn through what they experience in their environment.


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