Photo: © via canva.com
3 Signs Your Child Needs a Sensory Boost
Ever been stuck in a long conversation, a boring movie, or dragged someplace that you didn’t want to be? That’s how it feels when your child is understimulated, and it can affect how they engage with their surroundings. This includes at school and in the classroom. If your child seems like they are bored all the time, it’s not that they are running out of things to do—it is that they are understimulated. Keep reading to learn three major signs your child is understimulated and the one sensory toy they need to fulfill their sensory needs and get on track in the classroom. (scroll down for special coupon!)
When a child is understimulated, it means that they are not fully engaged or interested in what is happening. This could be a task, the environment they are in, or an activity they are participating in. It may be that it is too easy, not challenging enough, not exciting enough, or lacks social interaction. One of the most common places that this can happen with children is at school.
When a child is understimulated at school, it can cause learning issues and poor grades, even if the material comes easily to them. That is why finding ways to keep them stimulated, even while in the classroom and studying, is essential to make sure they maintain focus, pay attention to the lesson, retain information, and get their work done.
Sign 1: Lack of Interest
One of the biggest, most obvious signs of understimulation in children is that they have a lack of interest in whatever is happening. This can even include things that used to excite them or engage them but no longer do. This can leave parents frustrated with finding ways to engage with their children.
Ways to boost your child’s interest in learning include:
- Pay attention to what makes your child laugh or smile. Incorporate those into study time so that they can find it more enjoyable.
- What do they spend their time doing the most? Is it coloring, reading, or doing math? It can be tempting to get a tutor for them to spend more time focusing on areas they struggle with, but it is also important to let them spend just as much time on the study areas they enjoy.
- What situations tend to engage them the most? Is it screen time, playing soccer, or building things? Take note and see how you can incorporate their favorite situations into a learning opportunity.
Sign 2: Restessness
A less obvious sign of understimulation is restlessness. In fact, this sign is often seen as overstimulation in children. If your child is understimulated, they may have a difficult time sitting still or staying focused, especially in the classroom. The fact is, they are seeking more stimulation through their restlessness.
Restlessness can look like this:
- Move around excessively
- Constantly shifting in their seat
- Sighing loudly and often
- Yawning a lot
- Playing with their hair
- Excessive stretching
- Cracking their knuckles
- Clicking their pen
- Twirling their pen
- Talking to other classmates
- Asking to use the restroom more than normal
Sign 3: Low Energy Level
You may assume that a child who is understimulated must be full of energy waiting to be used. However, the complete opposite is true. In fact, children who are understimulated have very low energy levels. They may appear tired, lethargic, and disengaged. They may not want to participate in activities and play with friends, even if it isn’t during class time. For example, they may have such low energy levels from seeking stimulation the entire class time that they do not want to play with their friends at lunch or recess.
What to Do About Understimulation
Now that you understand understimulation and the three major signs that your child may have it, it’s time to take action so that they can start enjoying school, their social life, and become more engaged.
Here’s what you can do to help your understimulated child:
- Adjust the difficulty level. Are their classes just too easy? If they are skating through assignments and school work while appearing understimulated, it may be time to see if they can jump ahead in classwork so that they can be challenged.
- Positive reinforcement. Did your child engage in a new activity, participate where they normally wouldn’t, or otherwise do a great job? Make sure you let them know!
- Make sure they get plenty of physical activity. By getting a lot of physical activity and exercise, your child will naturally have good energy levels, a better mood, and a clearer mind to allow them to focus in school and study.
- Stimulate their senses. The best way to help your understimulated child is by stimulating them more! Taking sensory breaks or using sensory fidget toys in the classroom are a great way to stay focused and engaged in school.
Fidget toys have been clinically proven to help children with attention and anxiety issues stay focused and calm. The SPIKE Fij-it™ is mess-free and quiet, making them ideal for the classroom. Spike Fij-it™ features durable and soft spikes that provide tactile stimulation for Kinesthetic learners. With a dual texture design, it features soft and durable silicone spikes on one side and a smooth surface on the other. Our product testers couldn’t put them down!
For even more tactile fun, squeeze two Fij-it toys together and enjoy the satisfaction of peeling them apart. Made from 100% Silicone, SPIKE Fij-it™ toys are hypoallergenic and non-toxic, as well as BPA, phthalate, latex, and odor free. The naturally antibacterial silicone is easy to clean and can be sterilized for deep cleaning.
Made with food-grade silicone, SPIKE sensory products are non-toxic and easy to clean & sterilize in boiling water. Unlike cheaper alternatives, our SPIKE will last and calm your senses for many years to come!