One super “cool” and fun way to encourage sensory motor exploration is with ice play! You might be thinking, “What is ice play?!” Well, many years ago, we shared a blog post about playing with ice in the bath tub as a sensory and fine motor activity for kids. This idea was designed to build skills and add a fun component to the bath tub. That simple sensory activity still stands today!
Ice play simply means playing with ice! Ice is a readily available tool for building skills in several areas:
- Tactile sensitivities (temperature)
- Fine motor skills: grasp and pincer grip
- Eye-hand coordination
- Motor planning
- Tool use: scooping with a spoon
- Crossing midline
Ice play can be anything! We’ve used ice to develop sensory motor skills in several different ways:
Scooping Ice- All you need is a few bowls, some ice, and some spoons to work on scooping and pouring skills.
Smashing Ice- Smashing ice is a great proprioceptive activity that fosters motor planning and hand-eye coordination skills.
Ice Bath- The ice bath is all the rage right now for health reasons, but we aren’t talking about the traditional ice bath used by athletes. When my kids were younger, we used this sensory and motor activity to play in the bathtub. Fill the bath as you normally would and add a few ice cubes to target motor skills.
ice cube sensory play
More sensory play activities that are built right into everyday functional tasks:
The Sensory Lifestyle Handbook walks you through sensory processing information, each step of creating a meaningful and motivating sensory diet, that is guided by the individual’s personal interests and preferences.
The Sensory Lifestyle Handbook is not just about creating a sensory diet to meet sensory processing needs. This handbook is your key to creating an active and thriving lifestyle based on a deep understanding of sensory processing.