Top 10 Friendly Sensory Needs for Schools
1. Sensory Paths
Developed and designed by Special Education Teacher Holly Barker Clay, The Sensory Path Company has been manufacturing engaging and thematic Sensory Paths for two years. Using a researched based movement formula developed and tested in an actual school setting, The Sensory Path is a helpful tool for children to develop self-regulation skills. for more information on The Sensory Path go Here
2. Sensory Bins
Sensory bins offer students a tool to have in the classroom for small sensory input. The bins can be filled with items that vary in texture and movement. These items are meant to be personal items that kids can use to help them sit still while in whole group without being distracting. There are several items on our list of Sensory Bin Amazon List Click the Link Here
3. Weighted Blankets/ Lap dolls
Weighted Lap Blankets and Weighted Lap Buddies help a child who needs a little proprioceptive input to help their body settle down. Offering the student a Lap Buddy while sitting in a group helps keep their body within the area, and reduces sensory seeking impulses.
4. Quiet Corner
Establishing a quiet space for an over-stimulated child is easily accomplished by simply adjusting some space in the classroom and being a little creative with shelving or desk arrangements. Usually tucked away in an area that will not draw attention to a child who may be struggling with their emotions. A soft rug and some pillows or friendly stuffed animals can offer a sense of comfort.
This area should be used for quiet personal self-regulation inside the classroom. Establishing rules and boundaries within the space is vital for the success when using a quiet zone or space in the room. Check out our Pinterest page for ideas! The Sensory Path Pinterest
5. Rocking Chair
Sensory Seeking kids who have a hard time with self-regulation often will be seen flapping or rocking which draws attention to their disability. By doing these movements the child is trying to provide their own sensory input because their brain is overloaded, or they are anxious. Offering a rocking chair to a sensory seeking child offers them the same proprioceptive and vestibular stimulation.
6. Bean Bag Chair
Bean Bag Chairs are a great sensory option for the classroom. Bean bags offer the child a full upper body pressure sensation to calm their overstimulated nervous system by providing pressure to the joints and trunk of the upper body. It also allows a space for children with poor core muscle tone to relax their body and just listen. Applying pressure to the joints and torso provides deep pressure sensory input and helps calm the over stimulated child’s nervous system.
7. Velcro under table
We added this little tip to our list because offering a child a simple solution for self-stimulation might help some of your kiddos. Adding self-adhesive looped Velcro strips under the tabletop gives the sensory seeking a tactile surface to rub their fingertips on while trying to concentrate. It offers a discrete simple fidget solution that is accessible during work time without being distracting.
8. Visual Timers
Visual Timers help a child who may not understand the concept of time or need a visual to regulate meltdowns or moments. Visual timers are a classroom friendly device that all students could find useful. Our favorite visual timers resemble clocks, and have a color coded countdown area. Giving students a visual to understand when transitions are about to begin, or if they need “time to gather themselves” (not TIME OUT) helps students process the concept of time more concretely. For a link to our Amazon List for Visual Timers Click Here
9. Sensory Texture Boxes
DIY Sensory Texture boxes are simple and easy to make for the classroom. From Colored Dried Rice, Waterbeads, Magic sand and Playdough are all great simple textures that offer children sensory tactile experiences. These items can easily be contained in plastic bins and added to academic centers for children to get some sensory input while performing tasks like letter handwriting practice, and basic match functions. By offering children sensory integrated center experiences, academic time feel more like play which creates memorable learning experiences.
10. Alternate Seating and Standing Desks
We love offering sensory seeking kids flexible or alternate seating options. Wobble stools, Scoop Rockers, Beanbags, Floor Cushions, Ball Chairs, and even standing desk offer sensory seekers, and children with ADHD a little wiggle to their system that a traditional seat does not offer. Here are links to our amazon flexible seating lists CLICK HERE