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Sensory Activities: 6 Quick Ideas

As adults, we all use sensory activities to regulate our level of arousal every day. If we are having a hard time focusing, we might get up to pour ourselves another cup of coffee. If we are drowsy while driving, we might crank up the volume on the radio and crack a window to let some cold air in. For many kids, learning modulating strategies such as these comes naturally. Other kids need some guidance. If you have a child who needs help modulating, here are some simple sensory activities to try.

Gwen’s Suggestions

  • Put a tennis ball on the end of a broomstick and have the kids use it to scrub the scuff marks off of the linoleum
  • Carry a milk crate full of books to the library and switch it out for other books (we kept these on a shelf in the corner so it didn’t require the librarian’s help)
  • Clean the whiteboards: multistep task using three different colored cloths (1) first make vertical motions with the red cloth, (2) go over the board again with the blue cloth in horizontal movements, and (3) spray the board and wipe it with the white cloth using a circular motion
  • Walk to each classroom to collect the lunch orders each morning
  • Water person: carry everyone’s water bottles in a backpack out to the playground and back

Submitted by Cindy Campbell:

  • Working out in the weight room
  • Running around the track
  • Jumping on the pad near the pole vault
  • Rolling/throwing medicine ball in gym
  • Stationary bike
  • Wall push-ups
  • Calisthenics
  • Push-ups and sit-ups
  • Pushing cart with books in library (or to the library)
  • Pushing cart with basketballs in gym
  • Pushing football tackling trainer blocking sled
  • Wearing ankle weights or weights on wrists
  • Theraband on legs of chair at desk
  • Jumping on trampoline
  • Carrying backpack with books from class to class

Submitted by Donna Richards:

  • Using a dolly to deliver copy paper throughout the building
  • Helping janitors clean the cafeteria and move the tables

Submitted by Paula:

  • Chair push-ups

Submitted by Terese Klinger:

  • Set up and put away lunch tables

Submitted by Michele Rogan:

  • Stacking supplies on shelves (toilet paper/paper towels/canned/bottled food & juice), some wear wrist weights/forearm weights to increase body awareness and resistance
  • Cleaning/rearranging therapy equipment including bolsters, mats, tables, and chairs
  • Gardening: digging/moving dirt and shrubs in wheelbarrows
  • Pushing lunch cart
  • Stacking chairs after auditorium programming
  • Pulling wagons
  • Stacking/organizing catalogs and magazines

Submitted by Dawn Hubbard:

  • Pull younger students on wagons or scooter boards during walks
  • Push and pull large garbage cans when they are doing janitorial jobs around the school
  • Washing windows or chalkboards (carry bucket of water, squeeze sponge/towel)
  • Carrying lunch trays to/from lunch room
  • Pulling weighted rolling carts or suitcases as an errand to help deliver something
  • Carrying items and stocking the shelves of the school store
  • Functional activities with common office tools: staple papers, use a 2/3 hole punch, paper punching with card stock, sorting and filing with binder clips

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