Sugar Aunts: Fall Harvest Theme Vestibular Sensory Activities

Fall Harvest Theme Vestibular Sensory Activities

Fall means jumping in piles of colorful leaves and it's a season of vestibular sensory input. Moving, jumping, rolling, hopping, and swinging are vestibular sensory based movements that challenge the body's ability adjust to changes in gravitational pull and movement. The vestibular sensory system can be rhythmical and calming or unpredictable and alerting. 

Each of the sensory based Fall activities below can be used in various ways to challenge and support the sensory needs of a child.  When looking for family activities that take in all that Autumn has to offer, why not make it a sensory experience that will build traditions? 

It's important to remember that a small dose of vestibular sensory input can impact the entire day.  Children may seek out sensory input but dislike other aspects of vestibular input. Other children may prefer different amounts or types of sensory input.  Be sure to consult your child's Occupational Therapist.  The information and activities in this blog post and anywhere on this blog are intended nor recommended as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a registered occupational therapist, physician, or other qualified healthcare professional regarding any medical questions or conditions.


Try these vestibular sensory activities with the family this Fall

Fall Vestibular Sensory Activities


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1.     Leaf Roll- Create a pile of leaves and roll in them for a vestibular component.  Try somersaults and log rolls in the lawn.  Rolling and tumbling is a great way to address vestibular needs by adding movement and challenging the positioning of children.  Set up a lawn obstacle course with piles of leaves with each station requiring different movement activities.  Be sure to check kids for ticks if you live in an area that has ticks.

2.     Leaf Swing- Kids can enjoy the scents and sights of Fall’s leaves with this activity with an added benefit of vestibular sensory input.  This activity requires a strong adult. Use a blanket to create a swing for the child.  Ask the child to lay or sit on a blanket.  Gather up all corners of the blanket and swing the child carefully just above the ground.  Lower the child into a pile of leaves.  If you don’t have leaves in your area, do this activity indoors over pillows.

3.     Swing and Throw Leaves- Use a playground swing for this activity.  Ask the child to lay belly down on a swing seat, superman style.  They hold and toss fall leaves as they swing back and forth.  Don’t have leaves in your area? Cut leaves from construction paper and ask the child to toss one as they swing back and forth.  Then, ask the child to gather up the leaves and do this activity again while sitting on the swing.

4.     Hayride- Use your local resources to attend a fall festival and ride on a hayride.  This time of year, most areas have hayrides available.  Riding over the bumpy terrain is an excellent vestibular activity. If you don’t have a hayride available in your area, try a wagon ride in the yard.  While riding, ask kids to notice the area, looking for colors, sights, and sounds of Fall.  Ask your child to find three orange things or two things that move while they are riding.
Fall vestibular sensory activities for the family.


More vestibular sensory activities for Fall: 


    Make a leaf balance beam
Catch leaves as they fall
Somersaults in leaves
Jump in leaves
Run through leaves
Pumpkin patch walk on slopes and hills
Wagon ride to look at leaves
Jump on a trampoline with leaves
Scatter small sized piles of leaves on a drieveway and bounce a ball into the leaf piles
Dance outside
Outdoor yoga
Leaf obstacle course
March through leaves
Simon Says, Fall-style (Simon says jump in leaves, etc)


Looking for vestibular sensory input tools for home, school, or therapy recommendations? Try these: 





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