Calming and Comforting Activities

Calming and Comforting Activities

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These activities can help oversensitive children calm themselves when they are overwhelmed by their environment.  These activities may be beneficial after school, before bed or after a difficult transition.  In general, use them anytime your child seems over loaded with sensory information.  Try to recognize the signs that your child is having difficulty as soon as possible and intervene with suggesting some of the activities below.  These activities should be PROACTIVE suggestions, not REACTIVE suggestions.  Once your child reaches a high level of arousal where extreme frustration and emotional outbursts are happening it will be difficult to get them to engage willingly in these activities, or any activities.

  • Encourage your child to ask for a break when you see that they are becoming overwhelmed by their environment.  Reassure them that this is not a “time out” and that they are NOT in trouble.  Explain that this is an exercise to help them when their bodies are starting to feel frustrated and jittery and is a tool to help them get more organized before they do something that will get them into trouble.
  • Make a special place where the child can go during these times to take a break- outfit the area with soft blankets and pillows
  • Provide resistive/ tactile balls for them to squeeze
  • Provide soft, soothing, calming music such as classical music or Enya
  • Warm your child’s clothes or pajamas in the dryer before they put them on.  You can also warm a blanket from their special break area
  • If your child will tolerate it, give your child bear hugs while holding them securely in your lap
  • Give your child back rubs and deep massages
  • Give your child a heavy blanket or sleeping bag at bed time
  • Snacks that provide heavy work for the mouth and can be relaxing
    • Crunchy- pretzels, pits chips, carrots, apples,
    • Chewy-chewy candy, gummy bears, twizzlers, beef jerky, and gum.
    • Sucking- encourage your child to suck liquids though a straw (the thicker the better).  Try applesauce, yogurt, pudding, smoothies and milkshakes


I am here to help!  Contact Jamie via phone or email anytime!


Jamie Jones, MS OTR/L