Build a Rabbit Habitat for Sensory Over Responders
Sensory Over Responders often find things are too loud, too hard, too heavy, too sticky, too wet and, well, just too much! They seem jumpy, nervous and often have anxiety. These children can carry around a lot of stress that may manifest as withdrawn or aggressive behavior or even illness.
A Rabbit Habitat can offer sensory over responders a place to calm and reorganize their feelings and emotions. For example, a tent provides shelter, and a weighted blanket calms and organizes the body.
To provide balance to your sensory over responder, try these strategies:
- Provide a quiet environment like a tent, tunnel or closet where they can hang out.
- Use earmuffs or earplugs to minimize noise and vibration.
- Give ample notice before transitions.
- Use soft calming materials like pillows, beanbag chair, stuffed animals, and weighted blankets.
- Play gentle music and provide wind instruments or bubble blowing to encourage deep breathing.
- Place lava lamp, bubble tube or calming lights in the room, and remove bright lighting or cover with light filters.
- Encourage art activities that are calming like drawing, painting and weaving.
- Calm with a deep pressure massage, pressure vest or compression clothing.
- Offer seating that allows for rocking or movement.
- Relax with aromatherapy.
- Read stories or books that reassure.
- Play non-competitive games like catch with scarves, parachute play or group games.
- Discuss what makes them feel safe.
- Swing or lie in a hammock.
- Exercise with calming stretches such as yoga, dance, gymnastics and swimming.
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