The holiday season is a magical time filled with twinkling lights, festive tunes, and joyous gatherings. However, for children with sensory sensitivities, the holiday cheer can become overwhelming. The abundance of lights, loud noises, varied textures, and increased family time can create a challenging environment. At Child's Play Therapy, we understand the unique needs of children with sensory issues and offer valuable tips to help them navigate the holiday season with comfort and ease.
1. Create a Sensory-Friendly Space:
Designate a quiet, comfortable space where your child can retreat when sensory stimuli become overwhelming. Fill this space with familiar objects, calming colors, and soft textures, providing a sanctuary for them to relax and recharge.
2. Manage Lighting and Sounds:
Adjust the intensity of lights and sounds in your home. Consider using soft, ambient lighting rather than bright, flashing decorations. Use noise-canceling headphones or earplugs to help minimize the impact of loud holiday music or sudden bursts of noise.
3. Plan Ahead for Gatherings:
Inform relatives and friends about your child's sensory sensitivities in advance. Suggest alternatives like low-key gatherings or smaller group activities to reduce overwhelming social interactions. Having a schedule or visual cues can help your child understand and prepare for upcoming events.
4. Dress Comfortably:
Choose clothing made from soft, non-irritating fabrics to minimize discomfort. If your child is sensitive to specific textures, let them pick out comfortable outfits for holiday events. This allows them to express their preferences and feel more in control.
5. Incorporate Calming Activities:
Integrate calming activities into holiday traditions. Engage in sensory-friendly crafts, such as making ornaments or sensory bins with tactile materials. These activities can provide a soothing and enjoyable experience for your child.
6. Respect Boundaries:
Encourage family members and friends to respect your child's boundaries. If your child needs a break or expresses discomfort, ensure that others understand and support their need for space and time alone.
If you have questions about supporting your child with sensory sensitivities during the holidays or are seeking additional guidance, reach out to Child's Play Therapy. Our dedicated team is here to provide the support and resources your family needs. Don't hesitate to contact our office for more information or to schedule a free Occupational Therapy (OT) scan to determine if your child could benefit from our services.
The holidays don’t need to be stressful. Let’s work together to create a joyful and inclusive experience for every child, ensuring that the magic of the holidays can be enjoyed by all.