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Sensory Activities

Summer Fun with Balloons

I love balloons and kids do too! Not only are they colorful and festive but they can be used for movement activities as well as art and science! Here are some of my favorite activities.

Painting with Balloons.

You Will Need:

  • Balloons
  • Tempra Paint
  • White drawing paper

This is a very simple activity that can be done with children of all skill levels. There is no emphasis on the outcome but rather on the process.

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First have children blow balloons. Keep them small. Then they can dip the balloons in the paint and stamp them unto the paper to create beautiful art creations.

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Balloon Letter Tap:

You Will Need:

  • Balloon
  • Sharpie Marker

Many children that I work with are challenged by eye-hand coordination. Throwing and catching balls can be a challenging skill. I love using balloons to help them catch and throw. Since the movement of the balloon is slower, they can take more time to motor plan their actions.

Begin by blowing up a balloon and use the sharpie marker to write letters on the balloon.  Throw the balloon in the air and name a letter or name a letter and name a word that starts with that letter. Ask the child to do the same as they tap the balloon back to you. This can be very challenging for children that have difficulty combining movement (tapping balloon) with a cognitive skills (name letter or word).

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Balloon Volcano

You will Need:

  • Parachute
  • 5-6 Balloons

This is a wonderful group activity. Kids hold on to the parachute and work as a group. You place a balloon in the middle and as children raise the parachute, they have to make sure the balloon does not fall out. Once they master the one balloon, you can add more and more balloons. I like to tell the kids that we keep the volcano dormant and then at the end we let the volcano erupt by lifting off all the balloons in the air!!!

Don’t Let the Balloons Drop with a Twist

You Will Need:

  • Balloons

Another great group activity is the infamous Balloon Drop! I like to play it with a twist. We start with one balloon and gradually I add one balloon at a time. I like adding up to one more balloon than the number of children playing. (if 5 children play, I will slowly add up to 6 balloons) Warning: This becomes a very loud, energetic game!!!

Sensory Bean Bags

You Will Need:

  • Balloons
  • Funnel
  • Dry Rice
  • Dry Beans
  • Dry Chickpeas
  • White Glue
  • Water

Fill balloons with the above ingredients and tie a knot. You can then use them as hand fidgets or bean bags for a toss game. The different ingredients result in bean bags of different weight. They can then be used to work on graded hand control. ie. children have to decide how much force needs to be used to throw the different weights into a set target.

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