Classroom Tips for Sensory Kids?

by Jess
(New York)

Does anyone have any sensory tips for second graders to make their work and focus easier, aside from balls to sit on or weighted lap mats...any tips or tricks that have shown success?

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Heavy tasks
by: Classroom Facilitator

Hi there,

There are a few sensory kids in the class I work in, with different kinds of sensory issues (tactile defensiveness and sensory seeking).

We keep all the heavy tasks for them - like sweeping the floor, cleaning the blackboard, moving the chairs and stuff like that.

When we see them getting antsy, we get the whole class to do a quick exercise at the desk or standing up to do the exercise - like star jumps, chair push ups or stretches. The sensory kids benefit most of all, but it is worth doing them for the whole class because at the end of the day, which child does NOT benefit from a gross motor break? :-)

Classroom tips
by: Julie

We had good success with our child chewing gum in class. The teacher was fine with it.

Also, a foot roller, made of rolled foam rubber with sturdy jean type fabric sewn around it. She could press her feet into it or roll it back and forth under her feet. It is completely silent, not disruptive

The schools would benefit by doing morning excercises of deep breathing, stretching, jumping, pushing against a wall, yoga moves, brain gym excersices etc. Invisible In the air drawing figure 8 sideways

Square pegs in round holes
by: Jill Turner

It is often the typical classroom environment - not the child that is the issue. Can you imagine a successful adult athlete, musician, artist or professional dancer that didn't need greater sensory input and opportunities for physical movement and strength development in early childhood? Many children are genetically predisposed to be able to run and climb trees ALL day so whole school "morning fitness time " is an essential for the motor to run optimally for sedentary time. Is this standard in America? It is increasingly common in Australian primary schools.
Jill- OT Masters student & mum of distance running, soccer playing, guitar playing 17 yr old uni student.

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