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Category Archives: Sensory

A Scentsational Journey for Kids

Essential Oils + A Rescue Dog = A Scentsational Journey

What is “Mo Smells?”

Mo Smells: A Scentsational Journey (Mo’s Nose) is a book series by Margaret Hyde.  This wonderful book series is inspired by a real-life rescued dog! Mo interprets the world through his extra ordinary sense of smell.  Each book uses pure essential oils to weave scents into the story line.  Parents can connect this to a discussion on how smells can be calming and how children may have different reactions to different smells.

Benefits

Children love animal books! This book creates a mindful experience by incorporating the sense of smell. Children will be engaged by Mo’s adventures, which will enhance language skills and learning.

What to Say

We are going to read a book about Mo.  Mo goes on a journey using his nose.  As we read the book please raise your hand if you would like to smell the page.  It’s okay if you don’t like the smell or don’t want to smell.  We all have our unique likes and preferences and that’s what makes us special! Sit up tall in easy seated.  Take one deep breath. Let it out.   Let’s begin our story.

Ball Pit Benefits

Children love ball pits; however, it seems like a weird addition to an aerial yoga studio, right? Ball pits offer children opportunities to jump, swim, and hide.  This fun sensory experience also has multiple therapeutic benefits and is a great addition to kid’s yoga classes.

Mindfulness.  Ball pits offer opportunities to practice mindfulness.   Hide a few smaller balls and have children use their tactile and visual skills to find the balls. This activity improves focus and concentration.

Cooperative Play.  Ball pits can also encourage cooperative play and social skills when two children are working on an activity in the ball pit together.

Eye-Hand Coordination.  If balls roll out of the ball pit then children are able to work on eye-hand coordination by throwing the balls back into the pit.

Relaxation. The ball pit at Mindful Child Aerial Yoga is made of soft material that offers a quiet place to breathe and be calm.  Children love when we incorporate it into a sensory station.

Ball pits are a fantastic therapeutic tools to work on body awareness, motor planning, proprioception, and tactile input.  Ball pits can provide endless therapeutic benefits!  Children have the opportunity to exercise their sensory system all while being mindful, relaxed and most importantly, having FUN.

 

Simple Stuff to Help Children Self-Regulate

Children gym fitness kid girl with small dumbbells vector. Fitness kid small dumbbells and sport girl. Little fitness kid girl and cartoon fitness kid girl. Sport dumbbells healthy lifestyle fitness.

Heavy Work = Self-Regulate

Proprioceptive receptors are located in the muscles, tendons, and joints.  These receptors respond to active movement and gravity.  Proprioceptive exercises involve deep pressure.  These exercises are a powerful tool to help children self-regulate.  Here are five simple exercises that can be incorporated into their school day.

  1. Wall Push-Ups. Place palms on the wall, bend elbows, and plant feet firmly on the floor.  Push against the wall for ten second.  Wall push-ups provide proprioceptive input into the arms, hands, and legs.
  2. Seated Push-Ups. Sit on the floor (with legs crossed) or chair (with feet flat). Push on the floor or chair with flat palms trying to slightly lift up the bottom.  Hold for ten seconds.
  3. Palm Push. Press palms together and hold for ten seconds.  Palm push provides proprioceptive input to the hands and helps balance the brain.
  4. Squeezes. Cross wrists and squeeze up from the wrists to your shoulders then squeeze down the arms again from the shoulders to the wrists.  Go up and down the arms ten times.  Squeezes improve attention, develop the brain, and provide proprioceptive input.
  5. Down Dog. Begin on hand and knees.  Spread the fingers wide and press the hands firmly into the mat.  Tuck the toes and bring the hips high while trying to push the heels toward the floor. Keep a slight bend in the knees and relax the head. Make it fun by wagging your tail.  Down Dog requires heavy work, which is movement that provides resistance to the muscles and joints. Heavy work develops the brain and helps children self-regulate.

Lavender Cloud Dough

Winneconne, WI - 19 February 2015: Bottle of Young Living Lavender essential oil supplement.

What is lavender cloud dough?

A sensory activity to reduce anxiety and stress in children.  It is therapeutic and super simple to make and store.

What does the research tell us?

Lavender is used to treat neurological disorders such as stress, anxiety, and depression.  Research has shown that lavender aromatherapy decreased depression by 32.7% in individuals suffering from PTSD (Uehleke et al. 2012).   Another study found that lavender essential oil reduced anxiety, sleep disturbance and depression when taken as a supplement (Kasper, 2013).

How do I make it?

8 cups plain flour (all purpose)

1 cup vegetable/ olive or baby oil (avoid baby oil if your child likes to taste things)

2 tablespoons purple powder paint

5 drops lavender essential oil from Young Living

Encourage your child to mix the ingredients with their hands. Once it has a wet sand consistency the dough is ready to be molded.  Let the fun begin!

References

Kasper S. (2013) An orally administered lavandula oil preparation (Silexan) for anxiety disorder and related conditions: an evidence based review. Int J Psychiatry Clin Pract; 17 Suppl 1:15-22.

Uehleke, B., et al. (2012) Phase II trial on the effects of Silexan in patients with neurasthenia, post-traumatic stress disorder or somatization disorder. Phytomedicine; 19(8-9):665-71.

 

Teaching fun, therapeutic, aerial yoga and mindfulness to children