Use a Monkey Habitat for Your Sensory Seeker
Sensory Seekers can be seen touching, pushing, grabbing, shouting, jumping, biting and, generally, on the move. This is the child who can’t sit still or stay put. They seem to demand your your attention. Sensory Seekers are also some of our most creative individuals. They can be clever, bright and friendly. They may use movement, and touch to filter incoming sensory information. Quite often a very calm individual, who is put into a stressful situation, will become a sensory seeker to regulate. Our aim is to provide appropriate work and touch tools to assist your sensory seekers in neutralizing their need to continually touch and move. But remember, that movement is as important part of their day (their sensory diet) as is food and water. A Monkey Habitat provides jumping, climbing, balance training and heavy work for your seeker. In addition, consider the following strategies:
- Provide clear boundaries, rules and directions. Sensory Seekers need clear definitions as to your expectations.
- Give notice when transitioning to give time to calm down and orient
- Provide seating that allow movement without distraction, such as wiggle cushion, ball chair, and rocking board
- Use timers to provide warnings, boundaries and guidelines
- Provide pressure and weight such as blankets, lap pads, vests and clothing for calming
- The mouth is a wonderful filter. Encourage chewing, crunchy foods, electric toothbrush, vibrating mouth tools, wind instruments, blowing, sipping and deep breathing
- Movement works! Use heavy balls or heavy work tasks to organize their muscles and movements. Provide jumping and running outlets, which improve circulation, deep breathing and heavy work. Set up obstacle courses to encourage coordination and motor planning. Encourage sports, yoga and stretching activities. Try movement breaks such as chair pushups or jumping jacks.
- Use eye-hand coordination to calm, focus and engage before doing tasks that require concentration.
- Use fine motor and hand activities that require heavy work such as clay, sculpting, wood working, hand fidgets and manipulatives.
Try These Fun Tools: