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Strategies for Using Sensory Kits to Improve Attention

Incorporating Sensory Breaks

One effective way to use sensory play kits to boost attention is by incorporating regular sensory breaks into the day. Imagine your students getting a few minutes to engage with a stress ball or a squishy toy. These short breaks can help them refocus and reenergize. Sensory breaks allow children to step away from their desks and engage their senses in a different way, which can be especially beneficial for those who struggle to stay focused for long periods.

You can create a “sensory station” in your classroom where kids can take a quick break. Equip this station with items from your sensory play kits like textured balls, soft putty, or small puzzles. Encourage students to visit the station whenever they feel overwhelmed or restless. This way, they can return to their tasks with a clearer mind and improved concentration. Think of it as a reset button that helps them get back on track.

Using Sensory Tools During Lessons

Integrating sensory tools directly into your lessons is another fantastic strategy. For instance, during reading time, give students textured bookmarks or fidget toys to hold. This keeps their hands busy while their minds are focused on the story. Similarly, during math lessons, you can use sensory play kits that include items like tactile number cards or manipulatives. These tools make abstract concepts more tangible and easier to grasp.

When planning your lessons, think about how sensory play kits can enhance learning. For example, using scented markers during a writing activity can make it more engaging. Kids will enjoy the novelty of the sensory experience and be more likely to stay focused. Plus, these sensory elements can help reinforce memory by associating smells or textures with specific lessons. It’s a fun and effective way to keep students interested and attentive.

Creating Sensory-Friendly Group Activities

Group activities can sometimes be distracting, but sensory play kits can help manage this. When organizing group work, incorporate sensory elements to keep everyone engaged. For example, you can have a sensory-based scavenger hunt where students find and identify different textured items from their kits. This encourages teamwork and keeps the activity dynamic and interesting.

Another idea is to use sensory play kits during collaborative projects. Provide each group with a kit containing various sensory items and challenge them to use these items creatively in their project. This not only makes the activity more interactive but also helps children stay focused on their task. Sensory play can reduce the tendency to get sidetracked by providing constant, engaging stimuli.

A teacher reading book to her students
Collaborative Projects in Clasroom

Integrating Sensory Kits into Classroom Transitions

Classroom transitions can be chaotic, but sensory play kits can make them smoother. Use sensory activities as a way to transition from one task to another. For example, after a high-energy activity, a few minutes with calming sensory items like a weighted blanket or a tactile mat can help students settle down before starting the next lesson.

Consider creating a routine where students know that after completing one activity, they will have a short sensory play break. This predictability helps manage their expectations and reduces anxiety. It also gives them something to look forward to, making transitions less stressful and more enjoyable. Plus, these sensory breaks can help them let off steam and prepare mentally for the next challenge.

Encouraging Self-Regulation with Sensory Kits

Sensory play kits can also teach children valuable self-regulation skills. By giving them access to these kits, you empower them to recognize when they need a break and to choose tools that help them focus. Over time, students learn to manage their own sensory needs, leading to better self-control and concentration.

Set up a system where students can independently use the sensory play kits whenever they feel the need. This could be a designated corner of the classroom stocked with various sensory items. Encourage students to try different tools and see what works best for them. This self-directed approach not only improves focus but also fosters a sense of responsibility and autonomy.

Involving Students in Sensory Play Kit Selection

To maximize the effectiveness of sensory play kits, involve your students in selecting the items. When children have a say in what goes into their kits, they are more likely to use them enthusiastically. You can hold a fun activity where students suggest and vote on new sensory items to add to the classroom collection.

This involvement can make them feel more invested in using the kits and can also give you insights into their preferences and needs. It’s a win-win situation: you get to tailor the kits to better suit your students, and they get tools that they are excited about. Plus, this collaborative approach can enhance their engagement and improve their focus during class activities.

Selecting an item to color the book
Involve your students in selecting the items.


Using sensory play kits to enhance focus in the classroom is a smart and effective strategy. By incorporating sensory breaks, integrating tools into lessons, creating sensory-friendly group activities, and facilitating smooth transitions, you can help your students stay attentive and engaged. Encouraging self-regulation and involving students in the selection process further increases the effectiveness of these kits. So, start exploring the endless possibilities of sensory play kits to create a more focused and productive classroom environment. Your students will benefit greatly from the sensory support, and you’ll enjoy a more harmonious and attentive class.


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