In our new book, Sensory Processing Explained, we dedicated an entire section to educators and providing tools and activity suggestions for the classroom. Today I wanted to share some of my favorite DIY sensory tools and activities for the classroom.
I've divided each of these activities into the eight sensory systems so you can easily find what you need. All of these tools and activity suggestions are easy to put together and can be used for the entire classroom in your sensory space, regulation station, or other calming type space in your classroom or sensory room at school.
DIY Sensory Tools for the Vestibular System
The vestibular system is located in the inner ear and is the sense of balance and movement. It is your body's GPS system.
DIY Scooter Board – A Few Shortcuts – Great for a sensor room or in the hallway or gym.
DIY No Sew Crash Pad – And Next Comes L – Great for a larger sensory space or room in your school.
Upside Down Ice Toss – Lemon Lime Adventures
Tennis Ball Game for Vestibular Input – Little Bins for Little Hands
DIY Sensory Tools for the Proprioception System
Pool Noodle Quick Fix for Seats – Your Therapy Source
Weighted Lap Pad with Hand Towels – Growing Hands-On Kids
Weighted Lap Pad (No-Sew option) – Lemon Lime Adventures
Homemade Stretchy Resistance Band – And Next Comes L
Weighted Tie Blanket – Parenting Chaos
Pillow Cave Sensory Retreat – Suzy Homeschooler
DIY Sensory Tools for the Tactile System
Finger Fidget for Warm Up Exercises – Your Therapy Source
How to Make Sensory Balls – The Chaos And The Clutter
Dried Bean Sensory Balls – Your Therapy Source
Lego Calm Down Fidget Spinner – Lemon Lime Adventures
Play Dough Recipe for Calming – Growing Hands-On Kids
Gel Sensory Bags – Paging Fun Mums
5 Senses Song for Touch – Let's Play Music
Pencil Topper Fidget Toy – The OT Toolbox
Weighted Fidget Toy – The OT Toolbox
DIY Sensory Tools for the Vision System
Learning with Squishy Bags – OT Joy
DIY Calm Down Bottles – Rhythms of Play
Create Your Own Sensory Tent – Your Kids Table – Great for a small space to block out visual stimuli
Five Senses Song for Sight – Let's Play Music
DIY Sensory Tools for the Auditory System
Pool Noodle Phone – And Next Comes L – great for exploring volume control!
DIY Rain Stick – Rhythms of Play
Listening Box Game – Let's Play Music
Listening Scavenger Hunt – Growing Hands-On Kids
DIY Sensory Tools for the Gustatory System (Taste)
Chewable Necklace for Older Kids – Lemon Lime Adventures
DIY Tasting Bottles – Gift of Curiosity
Tea Taste Test and Mixing Experiment (caffeine free) – Fantastic Fun and Learning
Fives Sense Song for Taste – Let's Play Music
DIY Sensory Tools for the Olfactory System (Smell)
Five Senses Song for Smell – Let's Play Music
Sense of Smell Tea Bag Matching Game – Fantastic Fun and Learning
Sense of Smell Swatches – Learning 4 Kids
Scented Color Mixing Activity – Fantastic Fun and Learning
Sniffing Scent Jars – Mama's Happy Hive
DIY Sensory Tools for the Interoception System
Children who struggle with interoception input (the internal senses of the body like heart rate, heat, thirst etc), can also struggle with emotional regulation. They struggle with understanding how emotions feel and don't often recognize their different emotions or how to respond and self-regulate.
Calm Down ToolKit for Kids – Growing Hands-On Kids
Calm Down Kit for Emotional Regulation – Mosswood Connections
Anti-Anxiety Kit for Kids – The Chaos and the Clutter
Lazy Eight (Figure 8) Breathing Technique – Hub Force: Hub for Learning
Self Control Bubbles: Classroom Teaching Tool – Love, Laughter, and Learning
Managing Big Emotions Poster – Childhood 101
Feel Confident in Explaining & Understanding Sensory Processing
Finding detailed sensory processing information can lead you to multiple books, websites, and articles. In Sensory Processing Explained: A Handbook for Parents and Educators, our goal was to combine all of these resources into one, easy-to-navigate handbook.
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