Brrr it is getting cold outside!
Cooler weather sometimes brings challenges for children with sensory processing difficulties, as layers and different fabrics may be irritating and uncomfortable. Just as you may prepare your child for other transitions throughout their day, you can also plan for weather changes.
Here are some tips and tricks from one of our Occupational Therapists to make the transition to warmer clothes easier!
Talk to your child
Discuss the change in weather and that they will need to wear different clothes to stay warm. You can do this through conversation, songs, or social stories.
TIP: use a calendar to mark off when the weather usually changes to visually prepare for the transition.
With your child, go through last year’s winter clothes and feel different textures, allowing them to decide which ones they like best! Their preferences may change each year. Then go shopping together, allowing your child to touch the different clothing textures in the store as well. Have them talk about how each article of clothing feels, such as soft or scratchy.
Practice wearing clothes before going out in them- give your child a reward if needed and lots of praise and encouragement. This is a big accomplishment!
Give your child two clothing choices that are appropriate for the weather. This will allow them to feel more in control.
Prepare the Body
Complete heavy work or proprioceptive activities before wearing clothing to prepare the body and neurological system. Here are some examples of what you can try:
- Heavy work activities
- Deep pressure squeezes
- Joint compressions to hands, feet, and head
Play with sensory bins to desensitize hands and feet. Use preferred toys and introduce snow or ice to adapt to the different feelings of cold and wet.
Overall, we know that new sensory experiences can be challenging for children. Remember to be patient and provide your child with a lot of support. The more fun and positive the experience the greater chance at success!
For more fun sensory tips and tricks, follow our social media platforms!
Facebook: Project Play Therapy, LLC
Youtube: Subscribe Here