1. Varying the speed – from very slow to quite quick;
2. Varying the amount of rocking/swerving/circling…;
3. Different quilts/materials: different textures send new messages back to the brain about the body’s positioning. Sheets, throw rugs, sheep skins, doonas/duvets, camp mattresses, …
4. Sliding on a large towel to or from the bathroom before or after a bath/shower;
5. Different positions – tummy, back, side/curled up, straight, arms/legs outstretched like a jellyfish/star…
6. Fully wrapping up snugly – like a cacoon. This idea is sometimes good for kids who are on the sensory sensitive side.
7. Use your imagination – allow your child to use their imagination… maybe you are riding wild waves in the ocean, or being a crocodile/fish/snake….
8. Move about to music – adapt the quilt ride to the pace and beats and moods of the music.
A word on safety:
– Keep an eye on how they are balancing – are they holding on well? are they rolling about everywhere and falling off to the side? etc… Start off slowly, and get a good grip of the material on either side of their body to avoid falling off.
– Clear a path for the rides! Watch out for corners and walls etc!!!!
Remember to watch for how your child is responding – are they enjoying it? are they scared? etc.. You want it to be a fun experience, not torturous!! Try stopping for brief pauses/breaks frequently, to give the child a chance to catch their breath and calm down. The activity needn’t be long either – just a few minutes can still be lots of fun. Kids respond differently to different sensory activities. If you have any concerns, an occupational therapy assessment is recommended, as how a child processes sensory information can affect many aspects of learning, development and life in general.