Sand, water, rice and other textures are a fun tool to use with children who have Sensory Processing disorders. Many children on the ASD Spectrum have SPD to some degree. Noises and textures are amphlified for them and as a result, they might be reluctant to try tactile play. All children need tactile activities to help with developmental skills such as cooperative play, imagination, creativity and fine motor skills.
I am including a wonderful list as a resource from Sensory Processing Disorder.com that will give parents ideas on how to encourage their reluctant child to try it.
Children with sensory processing disorders are the population of kids to make sure they are encouraged to play in the sand and water table. They need to become accustomed to this type of tactile input!
As I also elude to in my general treatment guidelines article, do not force these children to play in the tables, but do…
- encourage exploration of the tables (even if it is just watching at first)
- offer the opportunity to them often
- give them toys to use so they don’t have to touch the sand right away, or can touch it indirectly
- allow them time to get used to it
- allow them to wash their hands as soon as it bothers them, if needed
- find creative play ideas to encourage them touch the sand
- model playing with it yourself or use their peers as models
- above all, keep encouraging them but be patient and don’t “blame” them, validate how hard it is for them and tell them you will help them get used to it over time.
As trivial as it sounds, playing in sand and water tables is a necessary developmental skill which a child’s tactile system needs! And, for most children, it is one of their favorite items to play with. Be creative and patient and you CAN even make it that way for a child with tactile defensiveness.” resource http://www.sensory-processing-disorder.com/
My favorite Sand and water table is from Step 2. They make sturdy, reliable and fun outdoor toys. Nolan and I made a video for you to take a closer look. The only problem we have had is the water leaks a bit, but since we use it outside it isn’t a big deal. He has been playing in it every day and we are so happy to see that. You can purchase this table and many other kinds at the Step 2 website.