Strategy

Sensory Toolbox

Sensory Kit

A sensory toolbox is a box that contains a variety of sensory items such as fidgets, bean bags, weighted lap pillows, massagers, stress balls, cd player, etc. The sensory toolbox can be equipped for the whole classroom or can be set up individually for a student. The purpose of the sensory toolbox is to provide access to sensory equipment that a student may need to stay focused, calm the nervous system or provide additional sensory input.

Implementation Tips

When Can Toolbox be Used
If needed, all students can use sensory items at times throughout the school day. If using a sensory toolbox for the classroom, have the sensory box in a visible area and let the students know when they can or cannot have access to the toolbox.
Explicit Instruction for Appropriate Use
Keep in mind that the items in the sensory toolbox help the students to organize sensory input. Some students may need to be taught how to use the items to best serve the student in organizing sensory information. The items in the toolbox should not be considered toys, but rather sensory supports.
Homemade Items
A lot of the items in the sensory toolbox can be created using homemade products. For example, you can make a stress ball by filling a balloon with sand and tying end of the balloon or a stimulatory card by placing velcro strips on a notecard.

Examples

Silent Reading
During silent reading time, a student takes a weighted lap pillow from the sensory toolbox and places the pillow on his lap as he is reads. The weighted lap pillow provides the student with more sensory input which may reduce the need to rock back and forth as he is reading.
Test Taking
While a student is taking an exam, she has a stress ball in one hand to help alleviate some of the stress she is feeling during the exam. She knows that she can squeeze the ball as she is answering some of the questions on the exam.
Non-Academic Times
After a student has completed his academic work, he can choose to take the CD player from the sensory toolbox in order to listen to calming music during his break.

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