Sensory Toolbox

One of the most important reasons that I started this blog, was to share what I have learned.  This desire to share is seen in great elementary schools among colleagues and I was surprised to find that it exists in the blogosphere.

There are a few things that I must share about our “sensory toolbox.”  Just like any teacher workshop, I feel that the presentation is successful if everyone walks away with at least one new idea.   You don’t know the skill set of all of your “attendees” so you share and hope that it is worth their time.  Likewise, that is my hope for this article.

So here goes…some of my “favorites” that have had a positive impact on my son and my students!

Sensory tools

Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty-We have three varieties at our house and I introduced this fantastic product to the teachers at my school and my son’s school.  I find that the ones that are heat sensitive (change colors the more that you squish it) are the most motivating and encourages kids to work the putty until it changes colors.  My son enjoys the glow in the dark, but was extremely satisfied that he could mix a bit of the glow in the dark with the heat sensitive putty to create “a masterpiece.”  If you are an educator, you can get a 20% discount during Teacher Appreciation week (May 6-12) at the site  The code is teacher2013

A benefit that I didn’t initially think about, is how I can talk about becoming “more flexible” in ones thinking.  We talked about the work that it takes to make the firm putty more forgiving…and how similar that is to the work that we do to become less rigid and more “puttylike.”


Smencils-These scented pencils seem to help my son stay motivated to complete even the most mundane homework assignment.  I have to admit that I am a big fan too!

Erasers-any scented erasers seem to be appealing.  My favorite is a four pack of twisted erasers look like long candy sticks.  The fruity scents are delicious smelling; and the look of them feels as though you are using candy to get rid of your mistakes.

In addition to these items, I am a big fan of having a “treasure chest” of different materials that students can feel to calm their minds and bodies.  My son seems to be especially found of an old Addidas track suits.  The nylon material is slick but has the right amount of “stiffness” according to my son.  My advice…when you find something that works, buy more than one.  You never know when you are going to leave it in a hotel room hours away…I’m just saying.

As part of our night-time routine, we have found that a sound machine is critical.  I don’t have a specific machine that I like, but I would suggest having your child test it out before purchasing.  Sounds that you find soothing, may not provide the same effect for your child.

Now that I have shared a few of my favorite things, what do you have in your home (or classroom) that you find beneficial?  I can’t wait to hear your ideas!

8 thoughts on “Sensory Toolbox

  1. Something that we found calming in the past was books on tape. I have used them since my son was a toddler. When he was younger he loved following in the book. Now we purchase much longer ones that take a while to get through and don’t include a book. He will sit in his super soft blanket and listen.

    • Carrie-
      What a great reminder! We listened to Harry Potter on tape and he really enjoyed it. He listens to other stories and music before bed and it does calm his body! Thanks for your continued support and thoughtful comments!

  2. Music, music, music. It allows my son to calm down enough to sleep at night. We also use it in the car, makes the ride a pleasant experience for everyone.

    • Wendi-
      You are so right! Music works at night for us too. The only problem we have is that he doesn’t want to allow other people much say when it comes to the song selection and he likes to hear his favorites….over and over. We work on this as another way of understanding flexibility and sharing. He is now getting to the point where music in the background at home, doesn’t overwhelm him. Thank you for your visit!

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