Being on vacation with sensory sensitive kids or children with a sensory processing disorder can be challenging. You want to make sure everyone in the family has a good time, and also that your child isn't overwhelmed or uncomfortable. If you are hoping to get outdoors now that school is out and the weather is warm, there are some great nature outings that even the most sensitive kids will love. Here are some great outdoor excursions to take with the whole family in tow.
One of the best things about a zoo is that you can be exposed to animals and natural habitats without having to touch or be immersed in them. Plan an outing to your local zoo, and you can learn all about nature and see wild animals, and your child can get as far or as close to the exhibits as they want to. Some local attractions even offer sensory friendly days or are sensory inclusive venues for kids who prefer a less intense version to include sound adjustments and quiet zones for a more enjoyable environment.
Nature Center or Botanical Gardens
Many cities across the U.S. and beyond have nature centers. The preserves have well-landscaped paths and gardens where you can wander through forests, trees, and plants easily. Look up your closest local nature center and plan a trip there. The good part about nature centers is that they give you a chance to explore natural environments, plants, and animals, and they also usually have programming (like classes, shows, films, and more), where everyone can learn more about the environment.
A Nearby Swimming Lake
Consider going to a nearby lake at an off hour or day, when there aren't too many other families. Sensory sensitive kids may have a bit of a harder time adjusting to being in the water, but once they get used to the feeling, swimming in water can be very good for a sensory sensitive kid, thanks to hydrostatic deep pressure, which helps a body feel good. Help kids get used to bathing suits and sunscreen before you go since you don't want these sensations to make anything unpleasant. Once you're there, allow your sensory sensitive kids to wade in slowly and float. If swimming is not an option, bring along fishing gear and a picnic for a peaceful day in the great outdoors.
If your child struggles with processing sensory input or is already considered to have a processing disorder, contact us online or find a center near you to learn more about how the Brain Balance Program can help.