Fall is upon us and winter is just around the corner. The leaves are beginning to change colors and the temperatures are quickly decreasing. With these changes, we also need to adapt to the seasons by adjusting our clothing choices, exploring other ways to engage in physical activity and finding strategies to maintain good mood and behavior with far less vitamin D intake. The staff at TOPS is here to help provide some helpful tips and ideas to assist with a smooth transition for clients and families.
Behavior strategies for Fall
• Talk about how our bodies feel with less sun and exercise in the upcoming months (tired, crabby, extra energized, etc). Increasing awareness of feelings helps us process them in the moment.
• Use more “time-in’s” knowing that some of your child’s behavior struggles could be stemming from the change in season. Sit with them to talk about how they are feeling and explain why they are taking a break. Brainstorm what they could do differently next time.
• Knowing that Fall and Winter can be more challenging for children, give them more scheduled breaks in their day. Be sneaky by asking them to go get the mail or suddenly asking them to race you to the laundry room and back.
Strategies to help with clothing changes:
• Increase tactile play into everyday routine :
Incorporate a variety of different textured sponges during bath time. Towel rubs after bath. Lotion massages before bedtime. Dress-up games. Rub child’s arms, legs and back with assorted textures- feather, rough, smooth and scratchy. Messy play- Shaving cream, finger paint, mud pies, etc. o Create sensory bins for them to play with- rice, beans, feathers, leaves, etc. Cut a hole in the top of a box, place different objects in the box, try and guess what it is only by feel. Draw shapes/letters on your child’s back and have them guess what it is
• Talk about changes in the weather to prepare for wearing different clothing and more layers
• Use visuals to identify the weather and clothes that correspond to the day
• Practice wearing the clothes around the house during a non-stressful time