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Home > Helping Children Attend, Learn, and Focus > Organizing Sensory Activities

Organizing Sensory Activities

Quick List of Organizing Sensory Activities to fit into Daily Schedules

Sensory input is a natural calming drug for the brain, we all need it to stay calm, focused, and feel Aput together, children w/ SID need more of it & more often...

Calming and Organizing Input:

*Vestibular: linear swinging or gently rocking back and forth, move n sits

*Proprioceptive: wearing weighted vests, joint compressions (including wheelbarrow walking and jumping), creeping and crawling, placing hands on shoulders and give firm pressure down into the seat, marching (Russian and British), chair push ups, lying on stomach with weight on elbows, elastic material around chair legs for resistance in seat, and carrying or stacking books, and helping with chores.

*Oral motor: chewing on gum, gummy bears, sour worms, rice cakes, carrots, or other firm and crunchy snacks. Water bottles at their desk can help with focus and organization. Oral toys, bubbles, blow paints, and other oral blowing toys are great as well!

*Calming spaces: it is very important that a child with SID have a way out of an environment that causes them stress. Each classroom should have a quiet space in which there is minimal visual and auditory stimuli. A reading corner behind a bookshelf, under a table with pillows or bean bag chair, rocking chair in a corner behind a curtain, a small tent, or a swing that only goes in a linear direction the classroom are great ways to provide a calming time. Children will often choose these areas on their own, just make adaptions to make sure other children are not invading their quiet time. Let them have a way of telling you they need a break as well before a meltdown occurs.

*Posture: make sure that the desks and chairs are at the right height for each child, feet touching the floor all the way (not on toes), elbows resting comfortably on desk without humped shoulders, 90 degree rule for all joints.

Some children need inclined writing boards to help with posture, as well as the move and sit seat wedges, weighted vests, and proper pencil grips to stay seated and focused for harder fine motor and table top tasks.

*Motor planning: to help children with motor planning difficulties try to give short instructions with one step at a time, use other students to model and buddy with the student. Use multi sensory approach to teaching new skills: remember all senses when teaching. Remember the child's best learning sense, find what that is, and teach first with that sense!

*Use adaptions to worksheets such as limiting visual stimuli by using a black piece of paper to go under each line of work or reading, use graph paper for math, and only expose one or two lines at a time.

*Use the computer for skills that are very difficult, limit long writing times.

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