There are ways to introduce tactile sensations in the backyard in a controlled way. Incorporate these with tactile sensory input to involve the whole body into sensory play. Try adding backyard proprioception input or backyard oral sensory processing activities. These are super easy ways to play with the senses with items you probably already have in or around the home.
Tactile Sensory Input in Backyard Play Ideas
TACTILE SENSORY INPUT BACKYARD ACTIVITIES:
- Create a mud kitchen in an area of your backyard. It doesn’t need to be complicated. A simple piece of wood or a sheet of cardboard makes a nice work space. Use buckets, scoops, and spoons to mix up muddy concoctions while working on fine motor skills, eye-hand coordination to scoop and pour in a tactile sensory (and very messy) imagination play.
Don’t be afraid to let the kids get muddy and messy! Just hose them off afterwards. Mud and puddles are a part of childhood and the dirt will wash off. Have fun and get messy with your kids!
- Flower Sensory Bin- Explore tactile differences with an outdoor dandelion messy sensory bin. Add more squishy messy play by adding dirt or sand to the bin. Use scoops and tongs to add in fine motor work.
- Feel and Name Game- Fill a bin or paper bag with grass clippings. To the bag, add random small toys, plastic figures, or magnetic letters. Ask the child to reach into the bag without looking. They can locate a small item and feel it as they try to name the object.
- Sandbox Dig and Find– Practice tactile discrimination in the sandbox. You’ll need two sets of matching items for this activity. (Magnetic letters, coins, small figures, or matching utensils would work.) When the child is not looking, hide small objects and figures in a sandbox. Then, show the child an object that matches one of the hidden items. Do not name the object. Rather, ask them to “find another one just like this.”