Trauma and the way children handle sensory experiences are intimately connected. Simply put, traumatic experiences are primarily handled in the same parts of the brain that process sensory input. And, when that part of the brain is affected by trauma, sensory processing can be affected too. As we support children in the context of relationship to navigate trauma, we can see significant changes in what had been challenging in terms of sensory processing. Likewise, as we support our children’s sensory processing, we can also set them up to better learn, meet expectations, and connect, mitigating significant symptoms of their trauma.
And, given how often we’re asked for recommendations for tools children could use in a classroom to provide opportunity for sensory input and, therefore, increased support for focus and learning, we’ve come up with a list of some of our favorites to share with you.
Stretchy bands for children to put around chair legs so that they can keep those feet moving.
Bouncy Bands is a brand personally recommended by an OT for how easy it is to take on and off.
Adhesive velcro strips to simply stick inside or under a desktop for little fingers to touch.
Boinks marble/mesh toys are great quiet fidgets and our favorites of our teams to take to orphanages.
Stretchy toys are another quiet option that can meet the needs of some kiddos.
A spiky sensory bracelet your kiddo can wear all day long.
An inflatable wiggle seat is a good option as long as a teacher doesn’t mind some wobbling.
Chewigem makes some great chewable necklaces that are incognito and come in oodles of colors and designs.
These sensory-friendly pencil toppers are moveable and reusable.
Do you have a favorite classroom-friendly sensory tool? Let us know what it is so we can share it!