Sensory tools were essential in my special education classroom! Having sensory tools available helps students stay on task, helped with sensory regulation, and helped decrease stress and anxiety. Here are ten of my favorite sensory tools for the special education classroom.
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Water bead beanbags
These beanbags are so fun to play with! They're also great for learning shapes and colors in a hands-on way!
I bought some of this slimy sand for my son for Christmas and when he tried it out, I knew I had to get some for my classroom! It's like kinesthetic sand and slime combined! Use with caution, some students may eat this or make a huge mess! Also, your students will need to wash their hands afterward.
A wobble board is a great option for your wigglers! Students who need constant movement will love to stand and balance on a wobble board. This was a hit in my classroom!
My students who liked to chew loved these necklaces! And they don't go nearly as far when chucked across the room as the chewy tubes! 😂 A pack of 8 lasted us over a year.
I love making sensory bottles with my students. You can use any type of clear bottle for these. I recommend plastic because things do get thrown occasionally. I found some clear reusable water bottles at Walmart for a quarter each and bought a ton of them! Just add warm water, glitter glue, and whatever other fun items you want! I bought this slime kit and we used the different items in our sensory bottles.
These started as something I purchased for myself, but my students loved them so much that I had to share! Stress balls are great for taking out to general education classes too.
Another great option for your students who struggle to sit still. I find these wobble stools to be way less distracting than yoga balls and my students (and paras) loved them.
Desk elliptical or exercise bike
I found an under the desk elliptical on Facebook Marketplace for $40. Score! It was always being used! This is a great option for your students who need constant movement
Water beads are not one of my personal favorites because they always end up squished into the carpet, but my students love them! I like to fill a Ziploc baggie and tape the top so it's a contained mess. Or if you're feeling brave, make a sensory bin with them. Your students will love it!
Last but not least, fidget poppers are all the rage right now, and I think they're worth the hype. There are so many ways you can use these academically, but they also make great sensory tools for regulation. I have a small keychain one in my car that I pop on my leg while driving to help keep my mind focused and my anxiety down when I'm driving to different schools!
What are your favorite sensory tools? Did I miss any of your favorite ones?