Stress can affect children as well as adults.
Sensory play is a great way to help reduce stress, while calming and soothing any anxiety your little one is feeling. By stimulating their senses through sensory play, you can help your child regulate their feelings and become more grounded.
If you notice your child is showing signs of stress, give these sensory activities a try…
Water play is an effective calming sensory activity. Fill a bowl or low-sided tub with a small amount of water and let them play with bubbles, toys, and sponges! If the weather allows, try taking your water play outside so your children can soak up fresh air and vitamin D while they play.
Children love playing with playdough…it’s a great sensory activity if they’re feeling stressed. And, by adding in some essential oils, you can boost the calming effects further still!
To make this super sensory playdough, take, or make, playdough in several different colours and add drops of calming aromatherapy oils. Lavender and camomile are particularly good for this.
Then all that’s left to do is let your child get stuck in!
Threading beads onto a string or pipe cleaner requires a lot of focus and attention, so it’s a great way to help calm your stressed child. Not only this, but it also supports fine motor skills as your little one chooses the beads they want and threads them carefully onto the string.
Push pop sensory toy
Recreating the feeling of popping bubble wrap, these brightly coloured fidget toys are incredibly popular as they stimulate the senses and help children (and adults!) relieve stress and anxiety. They provide an outlet for excess energy and give your little ones something to focus on, other than the thing that’s stressing them out.
Make a rain stick
Rain sticks are not only super fun to make, but they’ll also provide hours of relaxing sensory fun too.
To make the rain stick, take a thick cardboard or soft plastic tube and hammer some small nails into it every few inches or so (you’ll probably need to handle this part!). Then, take a big handful of dried beans, rice, or small pasta shapes, and drop them inside.
Now comes the fun bit. Let your little one loose with the decorations! They’ll be able to let their imagination and creativity run wild as they decorate the tube, as well as developing their fine motor skills with all the sticking, tearing and shaking.
And, whenever they feel stressed in the future, they can get their rain stick out and listen to the soothing sounds.
If you want to stimulate your child’s senses with different textures and materials, but don’t want to deal with the mess afterwards, sensory bags are the perfect solution!
Simply take some sandwich or freezer bags, fill them with materials and objects of different shapes, sizes, and textures, and seal them with tape.
Then, let your little ones get stuck in! Feeling the different textures and squeezing the bags will help ignite their senses and reduce their stress.
Sensory play mats
Recreating the many textures found in nature, sensory play mats are a great way to de-stress through play. Providing sensory stimulation through the feet, the mats can be integrated into every day play. Increasing movement is also widely recognised as a huge mood booster!
We stock a range of Happy Feet and Muffik play mats that can help reduce stress in children and adults alike. They are a great way to implement stress-reducing sensory play into your routine and, most importantly, they’re lots of fun too! Explore our range of play mats today!