My favorite part of decorating during the holidays is watching the joy on my kids’ faces when we finally plug in the lights. Instant joy. Bright eyes. Big smiles. Laughter. So, I thought it would be fun to experiment with a few sensory activities using christmas lights to capture that joy again and again this season.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED: Christmas lights (white or colored)
WHAT TO DO: Here is a list of 5 ways to bring on instant joy (and stimulate the sense of vision) simply using a strand of Christmas lights! It is best to engage in these activities at night time when it is dark or find a dark space to play.
1. Have the kids create a blanket fort in your living room. Run a strand of lights throughout the inside of the fort. I guarantee you will not see your child for an hour. Cozy tight space just for me? Yes, please. Add some pillows on the ground for more proprioception to cuddle up.
2. Practice forming letters and numbers with the strand of lights on the floor. Adult forms the letter/number with the lights and child guesses. Try writing your child’s name in cursive with the strand of lights.
3. Form a large circle on the ground with a strand of lights. Play “lawn darts” with glow sticks attempting to throw the glow sticks into the circle. I love a good sensory activity that incorporates gross motor work too!
4. Run a strand of lights around the perimeter of your child’s bed so that he falls asleep in his very own “sleigh” at night time. Be sure to unplug the strand once the child is asleep to ensure safety. This one is just plain fun!
5. Run several strands of lights across the child’s bedroom ceiling (using command hooks or tape) in crossing patterns so that he sleeps under the stars at night. Again, be sure to unplug the strand once the child is asleep. Have the child use a flashlight while lying in bed to trace the lines of lights. Another great sensory activity combined with movement!
HOW TO CHANGE IT UP:
-Use your imagination! There are so many creative ways to decorate and/or use a strand of Christmas lights to inspire awe in children.
SKILL AREAS ADDRESSED: Bilateral coordination, fine and gross motor skills, sensory integration, visual motor integration
Want to take a closer look at the skills kids are using in this activity? Check out our Clinical Closeup page, where we break down the skills listed below in terms everyone can understand.
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