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Winter Wonderland Therapy: Sensory and Occupational Activities for Families at Home

January 5, 2024

As the temperature drops and snow covers the ground, it’s the perfect time to bring the therapeutic magic of winter into your home. Engaging in sensory activities during the colder months can be both fun and beneficial for the whole family. Whether you’re seeking indoor adventures or cozy crafts, here are some winter wonderland therapy activities that will keep everyone entertained and promote developmental skills.

Sensory Activities

Snowy Sensory Bins: Create a winter wonderland indoors with sensory bins filled with fake snow, rice, or even cotton balls. Add in winter-themed toys like snowmen, snowflakes, and miniature animals. This activity encourages tactile exploration, imaginative play, and helps develop fine motor skills.

Winter Scent Jars: Fill small jars with scents associated with winter, such as peppermint, cinnamon, or pine. Have your children take turns smelling and identifying the scents. This sensory experience can be both calming and invigorating.

Cozy Blanket Forts: Build a fort using blankets, pillows, and cushions. Create a snug space where family members can relax, read books, or engage in quiet activities. The enclosed space provides sensory input and can be a comforting retreat.

Hot Chocolate Sensory Play: Create a hot chocolate sensory bin with cocoa powder, marshmallows, and plastic mugs.  Explore the textures, smells, and sights associated with hot chocolate.

Winter Scented Playdough: Make scented playdough using winter scents like peppermint, cinnamon, or pine.  Use cookie cutters or other tools to engage fine motor skills.

Winter-themed Sensory Bottles: Create sensory bottles with water, glitter, and small winter-themed objects.  Use these bottles during relaxation or mindfulness activities.

 

Combined Sensory and Motor Activities:

Winter-themed Arts and Crafts: Gather supplies for winter crafts like making paper snowflakes, painting snow scenes, or creating snowman-themed artwork. These activities promote fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and creativity.

Winter Yoga Adventure: Develop a winter-themed yoga routine for the family. Incorporate poses like “Snowflake Stretch” and “Ski Slope Balance.” Yoga helps with flexibility, strength, and body awareness.

Indoor Ice Skating: Create an indoor “ice” rink using socks on a smooth floor. Practice gliding movements to improve balance, coordination, and gross motor skills.

Winter Wonderland Scavenger Hunt: Design a scavenger hunt with winter-themed clues and hidden objects around the house. This activity enhances problem-solving skills, attention to detail, and promotes movement.

DIY Snowball Toss: Craft soft snowballs using cotton or fabric scraps. Set up a target and have a friendly snowball toss competition. This game enhances hand-eye coordination, motor planning, and social interaction.

Winter Cooking Adventure: Choose simple recipes with winter flavors like hot cocoa or gingerbread cookies. Cooking activities improve fine motor skills, coordination, and provide a sensory-rich experience.

 

Winter doesn’t have to mean hibernation; it’s an opportunity for family bonding through therapeutic play. These activities can be easily adapted to suit various age groups and abilities. So, let the winter wonderland therapy begin in the warmth and comfort of your own home!

We love working with kids who are struggling with sensory processing and self regulation.  If you think your child would benefit from occupational therapy, contact our office at 402-413-1356 to schedule a free consultation call.

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