Thursday, July 21, 2016

Sensory Camp 2016 Day 2

What a truly incredible morning we had this past Monday! Painting sticks, mud pies, tire towers, nature balancing on trees, yummy organic treats, animal yoga, lions breaths and playground play. These kids are just awesome and not short on smiles by any means! Special thanks this week to Donna Bonang, Eva Morrow, Niki Olesky and Abigail Schmidt - this camp wouldn't be possible without all of the help and support that I have received. 

We started our morning at our fire pit area built by, drawing on the stones with chalk and reviewing our day. Next, we painted the sticks that we found during our nature walk in the woods last week. Fine motor, visual motor, bilateral skills and the tactile system were targeted with this activity. Next week, we will complete our nature instruments and have a musical parade with them around the yard (auditory love). Children with sound sensitivities will be able to choose a quieter
way to make their instrument too. The kids had so much fun painting the sticks, and themselves!  Some children even tolerated waiting to have their hands washed until all of our tactile activities were completed, which was awesome to see. It's amazing to watch these kids grow and show improved sensory integration after just 2 camp sessions! My job could not be better, right?!


Next up, mud pies, OH MY! We paired mud pie making with tire tower climbing. This way, if children became a little over stimulated or wanted to avoid the messy activity, they had another option! The tire tower is a great activity for building strength, working on balance along with improving proprioceptive and vestibular 
awareness as well. It was also a big hit! 

Well, by this time of the morning the kids were starving.... Off to the fire pit area for some yummy snack! Snack this week included: 'Like a Bowl of Oatmeal' Muffins and Lemon Hibiscus Tea "Juice". I have to give all props for today's snack to my dear friend, PT, Ayurveda trained, Yogi, Nutritionist and health nut (in a good way), Rebecca Davis! Thanks for your ideas, always!

Here are the recipes:
Oat Muffins - made before your oven is even pre-heated! 

  • 3c oats
  • 2c oat flour - you can just grind the oats in a coffe grinder, Vitamix or I use the cup attachment to my Ninja blender.
  • 1 tsp. baking soda or baking powder (I have found them interchangeable altering the taste only slightly)
  • 1 egg - to make vegan just substitute in a flax egg (mix 1 tbsp. ground flax seeds with 3 tbsp. water)
  • 2/3c maple syrup
  • 2/3c coconut oil melted
  • 1/4-1/2c chocolate chips, raisins, or currants
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix dry ingredients together while your coconut oil is melting. Then, add in the egg, maple syrup and coconut oil. Fold in raisins (or whatever addition you choose) Mix well. Spoon into mini muffin tins (make sure that you are using pans that are free of PTFE and PFOA).

Mini-muffins - Bake @ 350 degrees for 13 minutes
Regular muffins - Bake @ 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes

Lemon Hibiscus Tea

Boil Hibiscus Tea leaves and let steep for at least 10 minutes. There are many theories on steeping your tea, but I tend to let mine steep hoping for the most benefits of the leaves! Strain the tea into a large mason jar (avoid plastic), add in honey or maple syrup, and squeeze in lemons. Once cooled to room temperature, allow tea to cool in the fridge. It's a healthy delicious "juice" without any of the refined sugars found in all juices on the market, even organic. 

The kids gobbled up everything again this week and loved the tea too. Healthy treats for active campers. I whole heartedly believe that we could avoid many of the sensory, behavioral, developmental and learning challenges seen in many youth today by changing their diets, avoiding wheat, sugar, processed foods and eating a whole foods diet. Snack has been an important part of sensory camp, and again, the kids have gobbled it up the past 2 weeks! You are what you eat!

Off to our Yoga safari in the grass it was - the kids had a blast pretending to be frogs, giraffes, trees for the giraffes to eat, cobras, downward dogs, twice, and more! After yoga we came together for some deep breathing (smelling the flowers and blowing out the candles) and camper requested, lions breath! Yoga is so amazing in a zillion ways, and teaching kids how to access self-regulating tools young, can be key to their lives! 

We have ended each camp session with nice, child-directed free play at the playground. This week, we also had our nature balance trees all set-up. These are so awesome and the campers had a blast walking, balancing and exploring. The playground is also set-up to build strength and allow kids to move their bodies about. Many children chose the monkey bars this week too - love it! Kids need to move and these campers never stopped! 

Thank you, parents, for sharing your little campers with us. 
We can't wait for next Monday! 

Pediatric Play is always available for consultation related to your child's development, sensory needs, lifestyle assessment and basic nutrition. Please feel free to contact Michelle with any of your questions and/or concerns. 


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    1. Thank you, Gretchen! We absolutely love having Sage in camp!!