Children with injuries that affect their ability to use one of their arms might have limited movement and only partial feeling in the arm. Sensory experiences during play and self-care can help your child:

  • Improve awareness of the affected arm
  • Tolerate range-of-motion exercises
  • Learn to use his/her arm during play

Here are some ideas for sensory play with your child:

Daily Activities

  • Give lotion massages using firm and/or light pressure
  • Guide your child through hand washing, towel drying and frequent lotion use

Bath Time

  • Encourage splashing in the bathtub
  • Put foam, liquid or bath paints on your child’s arm
  • Use a firm touch with a soft cotton towel
  • Use water play with warm and cold water, and talk about the changes in temperature

Play Time

  • Have your child look for toys in bins filled with things like dried beans, rice or packing peanuts
  • Use items with different textures (such as your fingers, fleece, corduroy, cotton, wicker, etc.) to:
  • Tickle your child’s arm
  • Encourage your child to use his/her arm to play

This information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace the advice of your health care providers. If you have any questions, talk with your doctor or others on your health care team.