Incorporating Sensory Activities into Sessions
Students are often more engaged when sessions include something with a sensory component. Many children in different therapy sessions also have concerns with sensory integration. By combining activities which work on sensory with fine motor, gross motor speech, counseling, or others it will work on goals in multiple areas at once. Sensory learning tools are readily available and flexible to use in a variety of ways during different sessions.
Hands-on activities are a fun way to work on skills and goals. Sensory bins allow us to keep kids actively involved and also work on more specific skills. These portable activity centers mean that you may pack them up and do the lesson in any location. Fall sensory bins are the perfect place to begin. Get a small plastic tub with a top and fill it with different fall items. Possible items to get are acorns, leaves, pumpkin seeds, Halloween decorations, or anything else that you may have around.
Now use it to work on specific skills. For speech and language, have laminated autumn word cards. Kids may then hunt for the item or something that rhymes with it within the bin. Once found, they can put the word into a silly sentence or act it out. If you are working on fine motor skills, have a list of items that need to be found. Kids can’t use their hands to search. Instead, they must practice using different tools like tongs, tweezers, or simply a pincer grasp. To practice core strength and gross motor skills, have kids hop, skip, or jump across the room to the bin to locate a surprise item. The sky is the limit on what you can do with a sensory bin. There are plenty of additional ideas for fillers on Pinterest and other educational blogs.
Although sensory bins are flexible and easy to use, it’s not always feasible to utilize them over a long period of time. If you want to be able to have something which can be kept to practice a skill over time, sensory bottles are a good option. Sensory bottles are made ahead of time and may be used over and over again. The potential mess is also contained within the bottle.
Making a sensory bottle is easy if you have a clear plastic bottle. Fill the bottle with a variety of small items. Then, add in some small pebbles or rice to hide them. After that, add in water. The sensory bottle can have a theme or be random to practice speech and language skills. There are a lot of sensory bottle ideas online in places like Pinterest.
After being used in sessions, sensory bottles may be sent home. Therapists should be sure to include information for families to be able to use them Include instructions that are sensitive to multilingual families so they may participate. Encourage them to have fun and make their own sensory bottles with themes or other special items.