News – Sensory Circuits

Sensory Circuits is a short and snappy sensory motor skills programme that helps to set children up for the school day. It enables children to reach the level of
alertness needed to concentrate during lessons. Some schools run sensory circuits after lunch as well. Children participate in a 10-15-minute session of
activities designed to improve brain processing efficiency, and they generally find that the circuit is a fun way to start the day. Doing the activities in the
recommended order is vital. The right order results in a well-regulated, happy child. The wrong order may well result in a dysregulated, upset or irritable child.

1.Alerting
The first activities should be those that
make the head change direction rapidly.
Examples:
• Bouncing
• Skipping
• Jumping or Step-ups
• Self Spinning using board/ cone or
Bilibo
• Trampette (Jump, Jump, lift knees up
/ kick feet out behind, Star jump,
Jump and count, recite time tables,
recite alphabet, throw a bean bag,
ball at a target/into a bucket, Throw a
bean bag to a person who is walking
around the trampette, Change
direction while jumping)

  1. Organising
    The second set of activities should be those
    that provide a motor challenge to the child.
    Examples:
    • Animal walks.
    • Egg and spoon walk
    • Throw and catch while on a balance board
    • Balance board, put bean bags around it to
    pick up one by one, or in a certain order.
    • Walk along a gym bench (could be
    upturned, with the child picking up bean
    bags and throwing them in a bucket)
    • Pass bean bag round leg, behind back
    • Log rolls, hands clasped & arms stretched
    out above head
    • Infinity Walk: walk round 2 chairs, in and
    out in a figure of eight. Repeat with eyes
    closed
    • Balance along masking tape line.
    • Jump over line from side to side
    • Commando crawling.
  1. Calming
    The third set of activities should be
    those that calm the child: (deep
    pressure, proprioceptive input, and
    heavy work)
    Examples:
    • Wall pushes: Count to 10. Repeat 3
    times
    • Half press-ups from the floor: Push
    up from knees not from the feet.
    • Isometrics and Chair sit ups (see
    Isometrics on page 6)
    • ‘Steamroller squash’: Student lies on
    their stomach. Roll a gym ball up and
    down, pressing down hard. Do not roll
    it over their head.
    • Joint compressions
    • Weighted blanket and vibration toys.
    • Firm massage: any of back, hands,
    feet, and shoulders

Considerations:
•Environment – space, layout,
•Equipment- use of available
equipment, checked for health and
safety
•Communication – use of visual
symbols
•letters to parents- consent/
information
•Staffing – identify key people, ratio,
ideally minimum 3 adults, training
needs
•Risk assessments- essential, updating/
reviewing
•Music- It is useful to play music during
the circuit. Choose music that is fast
(140-160 beats per minute). Keep
stereo away from calm down area.