The Summer Olympic Games are this year (2016) in Rio and what better way to celebrate the Games at home than with a Sensory Olympic Games Summer Camp at home. If you are not able to send your child to summer camp, these are easy ideas you can do at home to have a fun, sensory filled summer.
I am also teaming up with some awesome sensory bloggers for this Sensory Backyard Summer Camp blog series. Be sure to scroll to the bottom of this post to see all the other sensory summer camp themes.
What is great about all these ideas is you can do them with one of multiple kids. If you decide to include some others in your sensory backyard summer camp, here are some fun ways that you can divide into teams (or countries) and have more of a party theme.
Proprioception & Vestibular Olympic Game Ideas
When you think of the Olympic Games, you probably think of all the gross motor activities first. For a child struggling with sensory needs, starting with proprioception and vestibular activities first is usually the best way to start. The heavy work, whole body movement helps to ground many children and also gets the blood and oxygen flowing to their brain and muscles.
Some great ideas for proprioception and vestibular olympic games ideas include:
- Ring Toss
- Corn Hole
- Obstacle Course (with many opportunities for crawling into, over, under objects, through tunnels etc).
- Bean Bag Toss
- Modified Javalin Toss (use paper towel tubes and try to throw them into various rings on the ground at different distances)
- Balance Beam (bonus to use this in the obstacle course above!)
Here are some other fun ideas from other bloggers with a fun Olympic theme:
Olympic Ring Toss – I Can Teach My Child
Javelin Throw – I Can Teach My Child
Olympic Charades (comes with a free printable) – Toddler Approved
Balance Like a Gymnast – Creative Family Fun
10 Ways to Play on a Balance Beam for Kids – The Jenny Evolution
Olympic Gross Motor Play – Adventures of Adam
Jumping and Walking the Lines – Little Bins for Little Hands
Balloon Tennis – Little Bins for Little Hands
Calming Olympic Game Activities
I put touch and sight together because the two activities I'm suggesting for this definitely fit into both categories and are overall very calming for children. If you have a child who is becoming over stimulated during the activities, it is a good idea to provide some calming and soothing activities for them.
Have a specified cool down station with these two great ideas:
Gold Slime Recipe – Little Bins for Little Hands
Gold Glitter Calm Down Bottles – Little Bins for Little Hands
Sound, Taste, and Smell Olympic Game Activities
For these 3 senses, I would be a little more cautious in having too many different options available since many children have aversions to different smells or sounds and some sensory kiddos are often picky eaters. However, here are some ideas you can try in moderation:
- Include the National Anthem of each country (specifically the host country) in your opening or closing ceremony.
- During snack or meal times, try introducing a snack or food that might be customary to eat in the host country. (This includes taste and smell – be aware of any dietary concerns if you are hosting other children than your own).
What are some fun ways you would include sound, taste, or smell in your sensory olympic game backyard summer camp? I'd love to hear your ideas in the comments below.
Check out all the other great Sensory Backyard Summer Camp ideas below:
Sensory Handwriting Camp – Sugar Aunts
Sensory Space Camp – My Mundane And Miraculous Life
Sensory Nature Camp – Putting Socks on Chickens
For even more sensory ideas, check out my sensory fun Pinterest board below.