Visual Enrichment Sensory Needs
With the abundance of visual electronic stimulation in our lives, we might underestimate the
need for additional visual input in children with special needs and might be missing the right type of input.
The goal of sensory immersion is to provide the individual with pleasurable and satisfying
activities that energizes them and provides them with the comfort they seek.
The elements of visual stimulation include the interplay of multiple colours, movement, lines,
shapes, patterns and even details. Soft colours and detailed lines help support and calm an
individual whereas bright colours might support emotions such as joy, anger and excitement.
List of sensory activities for visual stimulation
Creating a space filled with bubbles
Blowing bubbles is a fun and an exciting way to provide visual stimulation to children with
sensory needs. Bubbles are not just visually stimulating, it can be a great way to teach various aspects of social skills such as eye contact, making requests, greeting etc
Colourful wind chimes
Wind chimes are extremely pleasing not only to the ear but also visual movement provides
stimulation. Create simple mobile wind chimes using the letters of their names or any other
object that might interest the individual.
Wall or book of fabrics
A simple activity which involves gathering a small stack of fabrics with interesting colours,
designs and textures. Then punch hole in each piece of fabric and secure it with a ring.
A walk in the garden
A walk in the garden amidst colourful plants is great for visual stimulation. Colour can come
from plants, stones, gravel and even bricks.
Lighting impacts learning, mood, and perception. Dim lights can be easily achieved by drawing curtains early morning or early evening when there is still sufficient light outside. Using two different curtains with varying thickness/ texture/ colour can be a great way to manipulate the amount of light entering a space. It instantly makes you feel calm and relaxed, helping develop, balance and encourage creativity and well-being within the home..
Creating a lava lamp
Fill a ziplock bag or bottle with baby oil, add a few drops of food colouring and water and add confetti or embellishments. You can mix two or three colours to form a new colour and make it look interesting.
Pop- up books
These are visually appealing and are a great way to introduce various social concepts to children with special needs.
Freeze water beads inside a balloon
You would need water balloons and few water beads. Put the water beads and any other sensory material of your choice confetti/ embellishments inside the water balloon. Next, fill it up with water and keep it in the freezer. Water beads start off tiny and expand when soaked in water. It takes several hours for them to reach full size. There are interesting colors, textures, and sensations to play with throughout this sensory journey.
Hands- On Activities for Children with Autism and Sensory Disorders, Teresa Garland, MOT,
OTR/L, Bestselling author of Self- Regulation Interventions and Strategies