Every year, students and teachers look forward to Field Day when they can celebrate the end of the school year. As with everything else this year, the all-school Field Days have been cancelled. But I have good news. In this anything-but-normal year, many families are creating their own At Home Field Day.
Unfortunately, Field Day can be stressful for students with sensory processing issues because of the change in routine and new, unfamiliar activities. But kids with special needs can have a great time with a bit of extra planning and prep. Here are several tips and ideas to create your very own stress-free At Home Field Day:
- Involve your child in the planning. Include at least one of their favorite activities and let them help with the set up.
- Post the schedule on a chart so that your child knows what to expect. Plan the time for games based on your child’s age and attention span. For some kids, an hour might be just right.
- Make sure that your child understands the rules of the game. Use a timer so that there is a clear beginning and ending for each activity. Avoid overstimulation and create a calm environment.
- Build in time for snacks and rest.
- Don’t focus on winning or competition. Your child will experience success by following directions and completing tasks. Join the fun. We all need to make some time to play.
Here are five ideas that include a mix of active games and sensory exploration activities.
(Balance, gross motor skills, directional thinking)
Copy the footprint printable on colored paper (I made twelve) and tape them to the floor in a line with the footprints pointing different directions.
On the GO signal, the child jumps from print to print while turning in the direction of the prints. When they reach the end, they can jump back again in the opposite direction.
SPIDER WEB WALK
(balance, spacial awareness, motor skills)
You need masking tape or chalk
Small objects such as plastic animals or letters
Make a spider web shape with masking tape. Place small objects on the web.
Scavenger Hunt Printable
Make a bracelet for your child with duct tape, sticky side out
On the GO signal, the child looks for the items and sticks them to the tape. How many things can they find?
(Calm breathing activity, measurement, observation)
Cup or bowl
Fill bowl half full with water
Add a few drops of dish soap and swish with the straw
On the GO signal, children gently blow into the soap mixture creating bubbles.
How high can they make their tower?
(perfect for hot days)
Water pistol, salt, or small utensils like wooden spoons
Pour water into the cup and add objects
Put in freezer until it is ice
Let the ice block thaw a bit so that it slips out of the cup
Children work to get the objects out of the ice trying different methods.
Thanks for visiting. Let me know in the comments what your favorite Field Day activities are.
Visit Sensory Rock Hanford for information and posters to print and information about #AtHomeFieldDay