Home » Sensory Solutions » Tactile Play with the use of sand

Tactile Play with the use of sand

October 16, 2019


Sensory Corner

While planning sensory activities for the Activities 4 All Abilities class that I hold, I stumbled upon www.HouseofBurke.blogspot.com. She had the great idea of combining sand with paint. In the summer I fully support my kids getting messy and then washing them off with the hose.  I liked her idea because it didn’t require many supplies.

Sand – either craft sand or beach sand will work just fine.

Paint – I used acrylic because that’s what I had on hand and it’s cheap (you could always use Elmer’s glue).

Sensory Corner

 

Paper – Yo
u will want something sturdy. I used Creatology’s Paint Pad Paper.

 

All you do is mix paint and about a Tablespoon or two of sand in a bowl (I used plastic cups for easy clean up). Dump it on the paper and let the kids spread it all over the paper. When it dries flip over the paper and trace different shapes on the smooth back. Then cut out your shapes.

Sensory Corner

 

 

Some children may not want to touch it so don’t force them. It may help to let them feel the ingredients separately before mixing them together.

Here feel the paint. Here feel the sand. Now feel the sand paint. If they can’t tolerate the feel then encourage them to spread the sand paint with a paintbrush or a stick or a smooth edged rock. Adjusting the Central Nervous System to the texture of something can take weeks, months or even years for some people with sensory issues. Remind yourself that it is a process and do NOT force the issue.

Sensory Corner

For instance, it took me an entire summer to acclimate my daughter to the texture of sand. Some people wondered why I would even bother. The answer is simple – I love the beach. I have always vacationed at the beach and I wanted my daughter to have that tradition. Obviously without being able to touch or feel sand I couldn’t bring her with me. We didn’t go on vacation for many years, but I am very happy to say that now we have started going to the beach every summer and all my kids love it.

The process I used was simple. Just think – baby steps. Babies do not walk over night and neither will a severe sensory aversion. For the first week I would put a toy that interested her in the sand box.  This was to get her to go near the sand box.  Sometimes she would have to step in the box to grab the toy, but the sand didn’t have to come in contact with her skin at all because she had shoes on.

The next week, I bought her new sand toys to entice her to play with the sand. She would stand on the outside of the sandbox and shovel the sand into a bucket. Again, I will remind you that she never actually touched the sand but would instead use sand tools.

The following week I slowly convinced her to sit on the edge of the sandbox while scooping and shoveling.

It is important that you show your child that it is ok and safe to get in and handle the sand and sit in it. Lead by example.

The next week she actually used her hand to pat the sand down in a bucket.

She quickly wiped off her hands and we needed to go wash her hands, but I kept giving her positive reinforcement. Also, I pointed out to her that she wasn’t hurt. Although she was uncomfortable for a few minutes, she was able to touch it without a negative repercussion (such as vomiting) and her goal was met. She finally made her own sand castle. I made a huge deal out of it. Took pictures and hung it up on the fridge.

Support Autism Parenting Magazine

We hope you enjoyed this article. In order to support us to create more helpful information like this, please consider purchasing a subscription to Autism Parenting Magazine.

Related Articles

Sensory Needs and Sleep for Your Child with Autism

Sensory Needs and Sleep for Your Child with Autism

Read More

Sensory‌ ‌Defensiveness‌ ‌in‌ ‌Autism‌

Read More
What is Sensory Integration Therapy for Children with Autism?

What is Sensory Integration Therapy for Children with Autism?

Read More
How to Help Your Child Resolve Synesthetic Experiences

How to Help Your Child Resolve Synesthetic Experiences

Read More
Sensory Processing Disorder vs. Autism: Understanding the Differences

Sensory Processing Disorder vs. Autism: Understanding the Differences

Read More
Autism Sound Sensitivity: Understanding ASD Children’s Relationship with Noise

Autism Sound Sensitivity: Understanding ASD Children’s Relationship with Noise

Read More

Making a Sensory Gym for Your Child With Autism

Read More

Behavioral Strategies to Help Make Your Next Sensory Friendly Experience a Success

Read More
Sensory Processing Disorder – The Ultimate Guide

Sensory Processing Disorder – The Ultimate Guide

Read More
Q&A Help: My Child Is Hypersensitive to Clothing

Q&A Help: My Child Is Hypersensitive to Clothing

Read More
How to Help Kids With Special Needs Avoid the Scaries this Halloween https://www.autismparentingmagazine.com/special-needs-avoid-scary-halloween/

How to Help Kids With Special Needs Avoid the Scaries this Halloween

Read More
>