Learning Zone and Zones of Regulation tools. If you'd like to download the Learning Zone poster, please click here.
We have tools for various sensory needs (visual, auditory, gross motor, fine motor, proprioceptive, vestibular). I have gathered tools from yard sales, raiding my kids' closets as they outgrow items, and purchasing some items with the small allowance we are given each year to spend on materials in our district. Over the years I've been able to accumulate the items that get the most use and weed out unnecessary items.
Here's an overview of how the area is set up. I placed bookshelves on either side with the smaller fine motor items. The gross motor items are in the center. The Learning Zone and Zones of Regulation tools are on the bulletin board. The therapy balls and Hippity Hops are stored on the ball rack.
Here are some close-ups of the fine motor items...
The kids LOVE the Yoga Pretzels visual cards and the Finders Keepers toy...
the green toy (I can't remember the name of it!) is a fave...
The Theraputty, Rubik's Cube, and homemade magnet jar help calm many of my students who need to "shut out the world" for a little while. The magnet jar is just an old mayo jar with cut up pipe cleaners. I found the magnet wand at WalMart.
The Play-Doh and stress balls are also handy to grab for a quick break.
The Brain Noodles are super popular with several students. When they sit down with these for a quick sensory break they truly block out the world! It helps them re-charge. I think I found these on clearance for next-to-nothing at WalMart.
I also made a few cheap-o rainsticks with different sounds out of cardboard tubes, rice, and beans.
Some of the tried-and-true items that seem to work the best for the kids and were worth the purchase price are the Pea Pod (we call it the canoe),
the Body Sock,
the Lite Brite,
the Brain Noodles
and the exercise bands.
This year I made a ball rack to keep the therapy balls and Hippity-Hops from rolling all over the place. It was a cheap, easy way to keep the area a bit neater. This week, I promise to take close up pictures of it and post how to make a cheap-o ball rack.