Vacancy Care's November Newsletter

November 2022


Hello everyone, welcome to our November newsletter! As always, we provide an overview of what is happening within our childcare community. This month we will focus on how to raise sensory smart kids who can use their senses adeptly to make sense of their surroundings.

Topic of the month - Sensory smart kids

For the first years of their life, children use their senses the most to learn about themselves and their environment. Whether it’s a baby turning to look to search for the voice they hear or a child who’s fond of any water-based activity, these are all examples of children using their senses to learn more about the world around them. However, what happens when they’re way too sensitive to their senses and its needs? It may result in tantrums, mood swings, or worse, life-threatening accidents. 


These are the uber-active children you see on the playground who crave action. They simply love to feed their senses with new stimuli to react from. You can see them jumping, zooming, and zipping around, full of energy and excitement.

Hyposensitive kids may also be labelled as hyperactive “seeker” kids who cannot resist touching, feeling, or moving around. They may poke at strangers or have no concept of personal space. They may have no concept of control and accidentally destroy things easily or be impervious to injuries that they keep on playing even when they are bruised or cut. While their need to always be on the move may be viewed negatively, it simply means that they need more input using their senses in order for them to learn.


On the other hand, hypersensitive children are those who may appear clumsy. They haven’t mastered yet their use and control of their limbs. Whereas hyposensitive kids will be the ones rushing to jump on the trampoline, hypersensitive children would be treading carefully to avoid any hurt on their part. For hypersensitive kids, less is more when it comes to needed stimuli. 

Hypersensitive children are also known as subdued “avoiders”; they may refuse to brush their teeth because it feels funny, are overly ticklish, become visibly uncomfortable when being hugged, or even disagree with having their nails cut due to a weird sensation. 

Sensory Testing

If as a parent or carer, you are already seeing a difference in how your child reacts or behaves as a response to certain stimuli, you can accomplish a sensory checklist to map out your child’s sensory sensitivities in different areas.

Sensory Regulation 

Whether a child is hypo- or hypersensitive, a sensory diet is useful in helping your child cope and regulate their reaction to sensory stimuli. Occupational therapists usually conduct sensory tests to evaluate your child and determine in which areas they need help in. 

Upon evaluation, this is where occupational therapists can start recommending a sensory diet that helps the child in sensory processing and regulation. Depending on the results of the evaluations, occupational therapists will formulate a way to regulate the sensory stimulation children receive in order to help the child better cope with the sensory stimuli they receive. 

Sensory-filled activities

Attuning your child’s senses to properly process sensory information starts at birth. Exposing them to sensory-filled activities (but not overwhelming) that enrich their sensory processing experience allows them to familiarise themselves with new sensory information and how to process it in their own terms. It might be shocking at first but you will eventually learn as a parent or caregiver what excites them, their preferences and their limits. 

Sensory Gym

Filled with active play areas like trampolines, monkeybars, ball pits, oversized pillows, and obstacle courses, a sensory gym is where a hyposensitive child can effectively learn how to better regulate their energy and need to be active under the trained eye of an occupational therapist.

Sensory Room

Sensory rooms can vary widely in its design depending on the senses it is trying to cultivate. If it’s designed for hypersensitive children who need a space to calm down and recalibrate, it can be a relaxation room filled with soothing sounds, muted lighting, smoother textures and comfortable chairs to lounge in. 

If it’s to cultivate and foster creative development using their senses, it can be a nook or corner filled with sensory materials that let children transform objects with various textures into a product of their imagination. It can also help them familiarise themselves with new sounds, textures, and sights they still need some practice on. 

The Takeaway

While sensory processing problems in a child may lead parents or carers to believe that the child may be on the autism spectrum or have another disorder like ADHD or OCD, it may just be a developmental delay. The child may be perfectly fine and may only need more familiarisation or desensitisation to certain sensory settings.

Childcare Development

0-12 month development

Scientists find out the best way to soothe a crying baby

Author: Ian Sample

Babies cry for almost all their needs. But when it’s simply due to them being cranky and uncomfortable enough to sleep soundly, scientists tried and tested various methods parents have employed over the years to bring the baby back to sleep. As their exploratory research shows, nothing but carrying the baby around until it was fast asleep and staying with it for 5-8 minutes longer seems to do the trick. 

Find out more about this trick and why it works in soothing your baby back to sleep here.

1-2 year development

The habits that help prevent allergies

Author: Isabelle Gerretsen

Babies are fragile and susceptible to a host of bacteria and viruses. Food is a common way for babies to be exposed to them along with allergens. Sensitivity may be good but this extreme sensitivity may also give rise to a long list of life-long allergies that will hound them for the rest of their lives. Thus, to promote a sturdy stomach for your little one and a more carefree diet and life that has no need to pore over the ingredients of a food item religiously, scientists have a few pointers for parents to follow.

Read on to find out how food allergies can be best avoided and help your baby grow into an allergy-free individual.

2-3 year development

14 Temper Tantrum Tricks from Real Parents

Author: Linda DiProperzio

Starting from the moment a child learns to talk and communicate, so do the tantrums start. As they start to develop emotionally, those big feelings just simply cannot be contained or communicated using their very limited vocabulary so tantrums start.

From parents who’ve been at the frontlines of those tantrums, read some of their tips on how to get the better of your child and help them overcome their tantrums here.

3-4 year development

How To Teach Toddlers, Preschoolers, And Kindergarteners To Wait

Author: Andy Kryza

Waiting for very young children is a hard task. But patience can be instilled at a young age to curb their impulsivity that may put them at harm’s way. By engaging with them or giving them fun activities to while their time while waiting waiting can turn a waiting game into fun time. However, experts recommend to avoid bribes, so that children learn how to be patient without seeking rewards in return in the future. 

Read more about how to teach the virtue of patience to young children here

4-5 year development

Healthy sleep habits before kindergarten help children adjust to school

Author: Penn State

Is your child about to start kindergarten? Help make the transition easier by establishing good sleep habits and hygiene that give a child the proper amount of rest and sleep. Researchers found that children who had at least 10 hours of sleep per night on a regular basis have a smoother time adjusting to the formal school environment. 

Get more sleep hygiene pointers to help your child easily adjust to kindergarten before school starts here

Craft Corner

Turn Milk into Plastic

A fine activity to develop children’s fine motor skills while also showing them the magic of chemistry and how it helps in transforming matter from one state to another, turn milk into plastic using milk and vinegar. This project results in a great sensory, organic, and toxic-free material that can be formed into various shapes. 

Find instructions on how to turn milk into plastic here.

Plastic Egg Submarines

Whether it’s Easter or summer, this fun sink or swim activity using plastic eggs will certainly be a delight for your toddler or preschooler. They can put the contents inside the plastic eggs and conduct an experiment to see which ones will float and which will sink to the bottom. 

Know more about this fun water activity about density and buoyancy here.

Fibonacci Lemonade

When you combine math and juice, what you get is the Fibonacci lemonade. Changing the proportions of lemon juice with simple syrup and adding food colouring to make a distinction, children will certainly have a lot of fun measuring, mixing, and drinking this tasty treat!

See how to make this colourful concoction with your children here.

Make orange soda

Put a twist to their usual orange juice by having kids make their very own fizzy but still organic orange soda. Having them measure and mix their own orange juice sodas will have them test their numbers knowledge while also exercising their fine motor skills, holding measuring instruments and utensils. 

Find the recipe for making an orange soda here.