Screens can be a huge trigger for kids with sensory processing disorder or ADD, causing issues with behavior, sleep, and more.
However, screens can still be a source of overwhelm for neurotypical children – and cause the results. Given that the holidays are in full effect, we want to invite you to skip the screens and give the child in your life the gift of experiences. Keep reading and we’ll tell you why this is important and how to do it!
“Variety is the very spice of life, that gives it all its flavor.” -William Cowper’s line is nearly cliché, but this is a powerful statement about how the brain functions.
Consider the 5 senses: sight, smell, taste, touch, and hearing. Your child’s brain was created to experience ALL these inputs with diversity. Just 1 or 2 intense inputs – as with screens – overwhelms the senses. Imagine this as an auditory or visual flood.
How to vary daily experiences?
Don’t fret – you can choose brain-healthy activities for your child right at home. You might be surprised how simple this is to do! For example, pause to smell flowers or diffuse an essential oil to vary smells each day. Here are a few more ideas:
- Dance around with silk scarves
- Take your child outside for a scavenger hunt: search for things far away (are there birds in the sky?) and near (can you find a rock on the ground?)
- Practice different movement: spin, bounce, jump (a trampoline is a wonderful sensory experience)
- Play with a sensory bin: water, sand, or water beads are great options
SCREEN-FREE GIFT IDEAS
Hello, creativity! You can’t go wrong with these open-ended gifts that provide healthy inputs and allow healthy expressions.
- Building supplies: wooden blocks, magnetic tiles, marble runs
- Art supplies: paints, modeling clay, chenille stems + beads, folding paper
- Go-To Experiences: gift a trip to the local zoo, science museum, activity gym
We have given a few examples, but remember, the possibilities are truly endless!
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