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.  

Fidgets

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.)

 
Pack the Perfect Sensory Backpack - Round Plush Maze
Round Plush Maze
Pack the Perfect Sensory Backpack - My Quiet Rainbow Fidget
My Quiet Rainbow Fidget
 

Chewies

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.

Pack the Perfect Sensory Backpack - Dragon Egg Pendant
Dragon Egg Pendant
Pack the Perfect Sensory Backpack - Textured Bangle Bracelets
Textured Bangle Bracelets
 

Pencils

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.

 
Pack the Perfect Sensory Backpack - Pencil Toppers
Pencil Toppers
Pack the Perfect Sensory Backpack - Pencil Jaws
Pencil Jaws
 

Putty

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.

Pack the Perfect Sensory Backpack - Emotions Putty
Emotions Putty
Pack the Perfect Sensory Backpack - SensaSoft Igloo Playhouse
Discovery Putty School Tools
 

Hook Ons

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.

Pack the Perfect Sensory Backpack - Fidget Key Chain Balls
Fidget Key Chain Balls

Pack the Backpack Together

Encourage your child or student to help select the best for unique sensory needs. Participation is empowering and supports self-regulation too. Change the tools periodically to keep it relevant and fresh. And download our free tool to track what works best for each child.