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Back to School Series: Sensory Solutions for Self-Regulation

Updated: Feb 19, 2021

Whether your child is completing school completely virtually, in person, or via a hybrid model, our ever-changing world is bound to challenge self-regulation skills for adults and children alike. Check out the list below for some sensory solutions compiled by BAC occupational therapist, Stephanie!

Promoting self-regulation with structured play:

  • Use exercise videos found on YouTube like GoNoodle, Kids to Move, and Yoga

  • Complete basic obstacle courses with materials found around the house: have your child hop on pillows, jump over a toy, crawl underneath a table, etc.

  • Try various animal walks across the room (i.e bear walk, crab walk, bunny hop). For a variety of in-home animal walk activities, click here!

  • Create a pillow mountain by stacking pillows and then crash into it! Your child can also crash onto a mattress or couch.

  • Complete simple exercises throughout the day (wall pushups, jumping jacks, jog in place, etc.)

  • Have your child lay on his/her back and use their feet to collect stuffed animals and pass them to a target overhead without using their hands

“Tool Box” strategies to have nearby

  • Water - use a resistive straw to drink, such as a CamelBak

  • Snacks - you can choose snacks that are alerting or calming depending on your child’s needs. (spicy, sour, or cold foods are generally alerting, while chewy foods such as granola bar, carrots, or a thick smoothie can be calming)

  • Fidgets - squish ball, play-doh, putty

  • Compression shirt or vest

  • A weighted blanket, stuffed animal, or vest

  • Headphones

  • A chewy necklace or bracelet (these can be edible or non-edible)

  • A seat cushion, such as a core disc or ball seat

  • Theraband (or resistive bands) - looped around the legs of your child's chair to kick against during seated work

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