Thanksgiving is coming! Most people love this holiday because it is filled with yummy foods and relaxtion. For my students with sensory processing issues, however, this holiday can be filled with adverse sensory input and too much unstructured time.
Sitting down at the table with others to eat a meal is only a small part of this holiday, but it is a part that can be difficult for children with sensory processing issues. Using a place mat with organizing activities and a schedule can help that tricky mealtime go a little smoother. Here are some hand drawn placemants I created with buit in schedules spots and some organizing tasks for fidgety hands. Feel free to use, or evern better make your own with the child who needs to use it as a prep for expected meal time behaviors.
Here is one for younger kids, or kids who need less visuals:
And here is a more complex one for kids who need to keep their minds and hands busy at the table:
And here's a neatened up computer version:
It’s always great to have a dry erase board, coloring pages, or books on hand to have at mealtime. Another way to add input is to have classical music playing (or music without words) – this will keep the ears busy so the body can focus on eating.