Reply To: Sensory circuits

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    I ran this daily with an SEN class for a good few years. I adapted it to make it manageable and meet their needs – this was a speech and language Centre so I included following and giving instructions. There were only 10 in the class but with the stations you could do more.

    We would put out:
    1 equipment station as per the usual gymnastics room set up for the age range. We always put this out first as our heavy work and there was a ‘manager’ chosen daily to instruct the others, who had to be good team members to get to be chosen as tomorrow’s manager. We included all the x and y take the mat, abcde and f carry the bench, 123 lift, 123 down etc. I made sure a staff member guided use of the station so jumping climbing etc was done safely.

    On alternate days we’d have the climbing frame out and I used the monkey bars or single bar a lot as part of its set up. They would also shin up the vertical pole / rope once they’d mastered use of the ladder.

    Hula hoops
    Skipping ropes
    Space hoppers
    Stepping stones
    I had a body board (like an ironing board with no legs on 4 pivoting wheels, you lie on it and push yourself around, we’d use a cone track)
    Balance boards
    Balls & cones
    Egg and spoon
    Bean bags and target mat for throwing
    Hopscotch mat
    Elastic for French skipping
    Big foam balls for throwing and catching, footballs to dribble around cones
    Agility ladder

    I would choose from these depending on targets, children, topic, how we felt

    I rotated small groups around these activities. I also had a boy with very poor core and an OT prescription so I would do his core exercises on a mat at the start while the others set up with the TA, sometimes I’d pull in others with poor core.

    Out of everything I did in the centre, sensory circuits had the biggest and fastest impact. Children with poor core started to sit up and be able to concentrate on the carpet, children who were dyspraxic started co ordinate better and having fewer accidents, we would even use success at hula hooping which usually took a term and say about how hard something is, but if you keep doing it you get better, and apply this explicitly to reading, maths etc

    I would say start off with a plan covering the areas eg heavy work, organising, stimulating etc and list the equipment for each day – soon you won’t need the plan, you’ll just know what they need to practise as individuals and also can excel at for self esteem. Change the activities to keep it fun. I used to let them choose one station each day (by vote) so I knew everyone’s preferences.

    Model everything!

    I ran it for 30 mins daily.

    I consldered changing part of the lesson and a key skill toward independence

    My learners were reception – year 3.

    I found sensory circuits to be absolutely fantastic, good luck with it!