Anything that we touch provides some kind of stimulation, be it the bark of a tree, the keys on a computer or the hand of a loved one. as the dementia process worsens, people with this disease can be robbed of many opportunities for tactile stimulation. This is where activities come in! Some simple activity ideas include…..
Creating your very own ‘Tactile kits’. Fill an old basket or box with objects that are interesting to touch or hold such as sandpaper, a clean avocado pip, acorns, and pine cones, feathers, a feather boa, different types of material samples, carpet samples etc. Take each article from your basket or box one at a time and discuss where the article came from and what it is. You could also consider incorporating pet therapy, massage, and ball therapy into your program.
Another great general sensory activity involves creating and using themed sensory boxes. Sensory boxes can stimulate memories, encourage conversations and provide a lot of fun. They can be tailor-made for individual clients. We have provided ideas on creating a Beach Sensory Box below. You could also create sensory boxes around other themes such as; Trains, Weddings, Babies or Tools etc.
Going to the Beach Sensory Box
Sunhat, sunglasses, sunscreen, shells, sand (Kinetic sand is extremely good as it doesn’t make a mess), a towel, beach bag etc
1. Prior to this activity put all the above materials in a beach bag.
2. Sit your client in front of a table and say that you would like to talk about going to the beach. Ask your client if they would also like to talk about going to the beach.
3. Pull each item from the bag one by one. Explore each item: encourage your client to put on the sunhat and sunglasses; to feel the application of sunscreen; to touch the sand and possibly build a sandcastle. Play some nature music of waves breaking in the background and talk about building sandcastles, going swimming, sun baking, and walking barefoot in the sand or surf.
Reminiscence and Sensory Kits
- Reminiscing and Sensory kits are a great resource. When creating kits keep the following in mind:
- Older people should be familiar with most or all of the items in the kits.
- The objects need to be carefully selected so that they relate to specific ideas, events, occasions or periods of life.
- The objects need to be age and experience appropriate and safe for older people to use.
- Don’t forget about kit maintenance by replacing all objects in the kit after use, cleaning items if necessary.
Sensory Montessori Activities
More Sensory activities here