It's back to school time with the anticipation of new friends and new routines – and must-have class supplies. In my experience, the typical supply list is often missing the most crucial items: sensory survival
tools made especially for school. Make time now to pack a backpack
with tools that will help your kids thrive in the classroom, and on the way to and from school.
And don't stop at one or two. Pick out several of your favorite fidgets
. We love fidget spinners but for back to school, your teacher might prefer engaging yet quiet fidgets
that can easily fit in a backpack or pocket. These fidgets can provide a safe outlet for busy fingers without distracting others. Try fidgets with self-contained moving pieces
or tactile exploration. Some teachers keep a bucket of fidgets to hand out as necessary. (Simply wash with soap and water between uses.)
If your child is a sensory seeker or you have students with oral motor needs, a personal chewy
in the backpack is ideal. Chews
can work wonders with stressed out or anxious kids, helping with self-regulation and self-soothing. In addition, pack some crunchy foods for snack or lunch, such as carrots, celery and apple slices. Remember to make time for movement breaks, which can mitigate the need to chew.
You may have a favorite brand of pencil, but how long will it last when your student mouths it? Try topping it off with pencil toppers
. These chewy tools not only save the pencils but also help kids calm and focus. Choose from styles that range from highly tactile to highly subtle. Pencil toppers can double as a fidget and chewy in one, and support finger exploration while working at a desk.
If you have a student who is really hands on, you may want to suggest a travel tin of personal putty
in their backpack. Putty is a great hand warm up, de-stressor and finger exerciser. Keep a few putty tins in your classroom for a pre-writing workout. Putty is not just for therapy. With pinching, pulling and discovery, putty can provide a multi sensory approach to classroom learning. Use Discovery Putty
for creative writing activity or to stimulate a class discussion.
We love our fidget backpack
with built-in fidgets, but you can also hang your favorite sensory tools
on your bag. Attach with hook-and-loop fasteners for quick and easy access to your favorite chewy or fidget throughout the day, on route to school or during transitions.