Letter Sizing Activity

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Working to help a child write with correct letter sizing and placement on the lines? Are you trying to come up with letter sizing activities to help kids write smaller letters that fit between the lines on the paper? Are you struggling with a child that forms letters without regard to size or line awareness? Letter size awareness is a real struggle for some kids!

This post is part of our Christmas in July giveaway series.

Letter sizing activities to teach kids to write the correct size.

Here, you will find suggestions to work on letter size awareness, along with a letter sizing activity that can be including into any handwriting curriculum. It’s one that focuses on how to form smaller letters, numbers so kids use a more precise pencil control that they can use when writing on any paper.

Letter Sizing Strategies

Do your students have trouble making their letters or numbers the right size? You might have seen kids that write without regard to the lines. Or, they may copy or independently write letters that take up the whole space, no matter what lined paper is used.

Other kids form letters that are correctly sized on the lines…but only when they have boxes drawn for each individual letter. But, that accommodation simply isn’t a possible option all of the time, for consistency and carryover.

During their earliest exposure to handwriting activities, young children at the preschooler and kindergarten ages may form large letters. Letters might fill the whole page or the whole available space. These forms are not always completed with a motor plan in place. the lines of the letters might be more of strait lines that intersect.

As kids gain more experience with writing with a pencil and with writing letters, they gain a motor plan that they can use on any surface and without a visual model for the letter.

Students then start to notice and use a letter size differentiation, or letters that are tall letters and reach the top line (e.g. b, d, f, h, k, l, t), letters that have tails that hang below the bottom line (g, j, p, q, y), and letters that rest in the bottom half of the writing space (a, c, e, i, m, n, o, r, s, u, v, w, x, y, z).

Kids will notice the differences between these differently sized letters and the upper case letters which are all the same size.

All of this letter size awareness occurs through experience and practice.

However, when there isn’t experience or practice time…or there is a visual perceptual concern, or a visual motor issue, there may be trouble or inconsistencies with letter placement.

That’s when interventions may be needed to help work on letter sizing.

Try some of these letter sizing activities

>> Using regular notebook paper, or bold lined, baseline paper, highlight the bottom half of the writing space. This is where the small letters are placed. Explain to the child that the tall/Capital letters start in the white, and the little letters start the grey(photocopied paper or yellow highlighted area). This writing paper is an easy fix for many writing situations.

>> Use modified paper. Here are free adapted paper types for all handwriting ages.

>> Try the box and dot strategy. This is a nice way to teach size awareness for kids who are just beginning to notice letter size.

>> Re-teach letter size of the upper case letters. Allow the child to notice where each letter starts. Then work on tall letters which start at the same point on the writing area. Next, teach the letters that are located in the bottom half of the writing space (the small letters). Finally, re-teach the tail letters which hang below the baseline. In each set of letters, allow students to notice where each letter rests.

>> Try any of these letter size activities.

>>Reduce distractions on the page by using black paper with white forms in increasingly smaller form size, like in the BlackBack writing program. This writing program allows students to form the motor plan for upper case letters and lower case letters, as well as numbers.

The BlackBack Writing Program depicts strokes, upper and lower case letters and numbers in white on a black background which helps the child see their strokes as they use the white space. Additionally, there is only one image on the page eliminating distraction from competing images and increasing attention to the single task on the page. Each letter, number and stroke has 6 sizes. The first size is very large and the last is the height of a wide-ruled notebook paper.  

The BlackBack Writing Program can be customized to begin where the child is in his/her writing journey. The letters, numbers, and strokes can be used on its own or as a supplement to any writing program.  The BlackBack Strokes, Letters and Numbers programs can be combined or used separately. 

Black Back Writing Program

I’m so excited to partner with Two Sparrows Learning Systems to offer this Black Back Writing Program.

It’s an awesome handwriting tool that addresses pencil control, motor planning, size awareness, visual motor skills, visual distraction, and more.

332 thoughts on “Letter Sizing Activity”

  1. I use Voss water bottles because the cap allows you to set the bottle down either end up. Fill with baby oil or light corn syrup (thin with water to get desired consistency/rate of sink). Then I add a small amount of glitter (the usual thing I use), sequins or pony beads. Shake and watch the objects settle.

  2. We have a door swing in my classroom. I like to use the net swing. The linear movement is very calming and organizing for my students.

  3. I like to provide calming sensory input by having the children participate in heavy work items or by calming sensory jars. The calming sensory jars are filled with oil, glitter, beads and the children will turn the bottle around. I also like to have a few olfactory, textile, and visual sensory input items the children can keep at the desk or the teacher can use with the whole classroom.

  4. I use deep breathing or heavy work. We have a box loaded up with weight that we decorated to look like a school bus. Kids love driving the bus down the hallway.

  5. Ways that I incorporate calming input with handwriting include: positioning the client in prone for weight bearing, using a whiteboard and having them erase the board, dimming the lights, and playing classical music during the acitivy

  6. I like to provide choices for calming strategies using PECS icons. Heavy work using functional tasks helps the kiddo calm while feeling involved in daily activities.

  7. Heavy work or deep pressure! With doing most sessions in teletherapy, I have the caregiver help a lot. One activity is the caregiver hugs the child in their lap and gently rocks while singing “Row Your Boat” with the child.

  8. These ideas look great!

    To calm I always use music and sometimes a 60bpm metronome or slow rhythmic beat. It really helps regulate! We often will go through a quick calming schedule: Squeezing hands together and counting to 10, hands on head and push down, give myself a hug, and a deep breathing tool. 🙂

  9. I like to use either heavy work/ proprioceptive (deep pressure) input or slow, linear swinging. However, it really depends on the individual child and what they need 🙂

  10. I like to use a dry erase die and write heavy work activities on each side. Then they roll and do whatever activity they roll.

  11. I love to let the students “blow a mountain of bubbles” using a straw to blow into a bowl with water and dish soap.

  12. Deep pressure via therapy ball, I love rolling my students into pizzas, cookies, tacos etc!

  13. I like to layer calming input when able – for example: calming music, lowered ambient light, slow swinging or rocking on a theraball.

  14. Gosh there are so many ways to help a child calm down or get to that “optimal” place. I can’t choose just one since every child is different. I turn the lights and sounds down, deep breathing, blowing, chewing, calming music, deep pressure and/ or heavy work and the list goes on and on. I don’t have access to a swing or that would be at the top of my list.

  15. Especially during telehealth; I like to do “the burrito game” where the child’s caregiver wraps them up in a blanket like a burrito! Big kids often like to do it to themselves. They love it!

  16. I like to use deep breathing strategies and activities as well as deep pressure such as steam roller with large yoga ball or sandwiches between large cushions

  17. Calming input really depends on the child. Often linear input can be calming, but I also like to use oral strategies (bubble jug), deep pressure and heavy work. I sometimes combine with visual and auditory strategies as well (dim lights, soft music).

  18. I have used the red or colored triangular pencil grips as spacers to teach how to leave space between words. They are a good size for kindergarten and 1st grade students, and they do not roll plus are easy to grasp and move.

  19. I love to play music in the background, something like Sacred Earth Drums or another calm, rhythmical album, with a whole body activity with proprioceptive or respiration.

  20. For calming, I use proprioceptive input/deep pressure rhythmically to calming music. I love having classical music on during sessions.

  21. I made heavy work stations in an empty end of the hallway this past year and the kids loved them.

  22. Deep pressure such as hand squeezes, joint compression, weighted lap pad, and linear rocking/swinging.

  23. For calming sensory input we use our classroom light filters and always keep half our flourescent lights off to keep the classroom dim. We have sensory breaks with weighted items, bean bags, mats, outdoor swings, indoor therapy swings, yoga ball play, and calming music/kaleidescope visuals throughout the day. Whatever the kids are “craving” for calming strategies is what we turn to in order to keep kids regulated, happy and relaxed. Thanks for this cool handwriting strategy. Would love to try out this program!

  24. My favorite way to provide calming input is vestibular input. Swinging for 10 minutes can have a lasting effect.

  25. I have really found kids enjoy and are calmed by rhythmic rocking in prone over a therapy ball or any head inversion activities – it’s a bean bag or object through their legs and then reach up with a slight back bend to grasp a new object. These activities coupled with calming music and dimmed lights work well. Deep pressure and heavy work activities are great. And sometimes kids just need help to be aware of their sensory needs or how their bodies feel.

  26. My all time favorite way to provide calming sensory input is weighted blanket! I encourage parents to buy for their kids to help them get a good night sleep.

  27. Platform swing with a slow back and forth movement seems to be calming for many of my students.

  28. I love having my kiddos sit in my bucket swing, some enjoy a weighted blanket and I will swing them in linear motions. Sometimes soft music is played or the lights are dimmed 🙂

  29. For my higher functioning students, I teach them hand squeezes and how to apply squeeze pressure to themselves going down each arm one at a time. For my more involved students, I use weighted lap pads, deep pressure on their shoulders, and hand squeezes. I also like to play music and dim the lights.

  30. Thanks for the giveaways! I would love to win this program. My students have significant trouble with letter sizing and carryover. I use heavy work activities, calming music in the background, and sometimes deep pressure when needed.

  31. I love taking a walk in the hall using a weighted back pack. The sensory/motor walkway that I construct each year in one of the main hallways is another tool that I enjoy using to ready students for fine motor and writing activities. Lap pads while seated are very helpful also.

  32. Finding “just right” activities because the overactivity stems from boredom and self-stimulation.. My son has autism and is very hyperactive EXCEPT when his mind is focused on a learning activity that is not too difficult or frustrating, but just hard enough. I have tried many sensory strategies (as they have in school as well) including heavy work, sensory calming toys, weighted blankets/vests, walking outdoors, water, you name it we’ve tried it 😉 During the Covid school closures, I had the chance to really observe my son only to realize that the most unexpected activities calmed him. For example, youtube videos with numbers to 100 are my go to to begin our learning day focused and on task.

  33. Not using classroom fluorescent lights – sunlight or lamps instead; quiet tone of voice; slow paced heavy work/deep pressure like animal walks

  34. I like to use calming music paired with swinging on a platform swing followed by heavy work using weighted balls and yoga.

  35. For calming sensory input with the little ones, I like to have them help me try and push down the walls in the classroom. For my older students, my go to is Yoga!

  36. I usually use the swings as my go to for not only calming and organizing, but alerting as well. Lately however, the rocking horse has been working wonders for my preschool aged kids.

  37. I love using a steel tongue drum and kalimba for calming, dependent on a child’s abilities. I also like yoga videos with a story, as well as guided meditations.

  38. I use many strategies for sensory calming depending on the student and their needs at the time. Heavy work for those Tigger-like kids, a net swing to provide pressure and linear movement with the child inside for those that are overwhelmed, or dimming the lights and working in a sand box may be the answer.

  39. I made a calming tent with soft lights and tulle hanging from the top. Also love to do mindfulness and body scanning to help create awareness for how the body feels during different emotions.

  40. My favorite way to provide calming sensory input is with use of a swing. I’ve had kiddos almost fall asleep in therapy when I swing them.

  41. I have several things I use in my classroom for calming sensory input. I often dim our lights, play white noise sounds and use a quiet voice. Many of my students respond positively to the weighted stuffed animals and the tactile bins. After coming in from recess breaks, we take a couple of minutes to focus on our glitter jar.

  42. Its important to assess the specific sensory needs from each child. Take a look at their anxiety level and make sure to allow the child has space to calm down or use sensory strategies presented in the close range of their environment.

  43. I have a pound of medium grade therapy with beads in it. My kids love manipulating it and it soothes them.

  44. My go to calming activities are slow linear swinging, deep breathing, meditation, and deep pressure through massage, steam roller machine, or body squishes with therapy balls or big pillows.

  45. Sensory bottles, deep pressure, dim lights. Depends on what each child needs/what works best for them.

  46. My favorite way to provide calming sensory input is to lightly squeeze the student’s earlobe. It really gets their mind off whatever was triggering them. I also like to tap on the top of their heads. I see this work time and time again to get the student to slow down, pay attention to their breathing, and listen to the sound it makes when I tap the top of their head. Most students will ask for more and more of this repetitive tapping. Thanks for all of the great ideas you share with this community.

  47. I like to use deep pressure and heavy work for calming, especially before fine motor and handwriting activities.

  48. Love to use th Voss bottles alos to make the calming bottles. I’ve also made the bottles with orbies and the kids love them. Last year I made calmi ing boxes for wach of the classrooms to have for any student that needed them. I love the idea of the backpack, though. This year I’m looking to create something online that our remote learners can use. I also have several apps on my iPad that I use individual with students.

  49. What is your favorite way to provide calming sensory input?
    In the clinic: Linear swinging using a platform or ‘cuddle’ swing, deep pressure compressions/squishes, sensory bins, and breathing exercises
    At school: Walks with weighted backpack, weighted lap pad, breathing exercises, and squeezing a stressball

  50. I love using an exercise ball to provide deep pressure. When you have a kid that will respond to it, you can see the instant relief and comfort on their faces.

  51. We make sensory calming jars or do heavy work activities. Lately we have been incorporating deep breathing and some stretching into sessions.

  52. I have put together a “Calming Box” with things appealing to various senses (sensory bottles for the eyes, slime/PlayDoh for touch, Therabands, etc), laminated breathing exercises and yoga poses, etc.

  53. My favorite calming input is crawling over cushions, crashing into pillows, rolling up like a burrito in a weighted blanket, squishing with an exercise ball, or watching a visual oil/glitter timer

  54. My favorite way is having the child lay prone on a platform swing with a wtd blanket on while providing slow linear movments.

  55. For my students I love deep pressure, because I often get a nice hug out of it. For myself, putty and a weighted blanket.

  56. Organized Active movement, Yoga Moves are always very calming and developmental Symphony from S’cool Moves is always a go to, kids will seek the poster and I always leave it up and available in my room.

  57. I use a variety of activities for calming. I have the kids make their own calming bottles to make them more engaging. Yoga with appropriate music is a favorite and work with students and teachers for carrying over to the classroom and home. Heavy work/weighted lap pillows is also a favorite

  58. In addition to all the sensory tools we have access to in our schools, students respond so well to shifting some things in the environment, dimming lights, rhythmic music, reduce visual and auditory distractions. Gentle pressure to head and body, deep breathing is always key!

  59. It really depends on the child but I have used bear hugs, joint compressions, hand squeezes/massage, deep pressure using the crash pad and a bean bag with the child in between, ambient lighting, and soft soothing music.

  60. Deep breathing using a visual like a Hoberman Sphere to help visualize the inhale and exhale and verbal cues such as “smell the roses, blow out the birthday candles”
    My favorite low profile calming tool because we always have our lungs 🙂 and do not need any special equipment and it can be performed in all settings.

  61. Deep breathing using a visual like a Hoberman Sphere to help visualize the inhale and exhale and verbal cues such as “smell the roses, blow out the birthday candles”
    My favorite low profile calming tool because we always have our lungs 🙂 and do not need any special equipment and it can be performed in all settings.

  62. Depending on the student, I have a few “go-tos”. If we have access, slow linear swinging in a lycra swing with the lights off and either quiet or relaxing music playing softly in the background. If that isn’t available, using beanbag chairs, weighted items, and sensory tools/fidgets while in a small, quiet area of the room is also popular with the kids. Lighting and noise reduction is often key!

  63. I use a lot of calming, soothing music in my classroom. I’m not certain if it soothes the students (they are in part non-verbal) but I do know that it calms me and my paraprofessionals.

  64. Cozy corners are a favorite of mine. Blocking out visual input with a tent like area along with deep pressure from bean bag chairs and weighted items works great for calming down.

  65. I work with a variety of children who all have different calming strategies. I do find pulling resistive theraputty apart helps to calm and regulate the child to engaged in other educational activities. I also believe cocoon and net swings in linear patterns help calm the child down. I think using head phones and playing calming music while engaged in a simple activity helps to regulate the child.

  66. Heavy work and deep tissue pressure are the go-to strategies at my house. We roll up like a burrito, do joint compressions, or roll an exercise ball up and down the body.

  67. I love guiding my students through relaxation with calming music. Learning to work through guided meditations is something all students can do, and will benefit them for the rest of their lives!

  68. Setting up a calming environment goes a long way. Low lighting, calm music, opportunities to rock or swing, bubbles or deep breathing activities.

  69. My favorite sensory calming strategies for my students at school include movement breaks, heavy work task. I use inflatable seat cushions, other alternative seating options, fidgets, and theraband frequently. I provide recommendations for alternatives to loss of recess to the teachers I work with also to encourage physical activity.

  70. Proprioceptive input, deep pressure! Animal walks, wall pushups, hand pushes, deep pressure hugs from Mom and Dad!

  71. Based on each child’s needs, I will provide heavy work, alternative seating, and even environmental adaptations such as dimmed lights and soft music on in the background. Also- bubbles are usually a big hit!

  72. I love the green peapod. My students seem to get into it and just go “ahhhhh”. Plus, it’s a strategy students can use independently. It’s a win-win!

  73. I love using cozy quiet/space retreat corners. I had a 1st grader love sitting inside large cardboard box with light soff and a flashlight in with him–the most focused and calm he had been all year.

  74. I use swings, moving them slowly in linear patterns. The kids love the squeeze machine and various sensory bins. I also hide small items in theraputty which majority of the kids request!

  75. I like to give my students choices as to what is calming for them. Most often they choose to sit in the cozy corner that contains an oversized bean bag, tactile and visual items (sensory bottle, pillows with various textures, a sensory wall….). However during this pandemic I am not sure exactly what I will have to offer. I am attempting to male weighted lap pads that will me easily cleaned. I am looking for alternative ways to provide sensory experiences that are easily cleaned.

  76. I like to follow the lead of the students and what we/they have found works best for them!

  77. deep pressure and propiocetive heavy work activities, including wheelbarrow walking, crawling, animal walks, massages,

  78. I use different ideas and strategies based upon the child, but often use yoga, animal walks, or a heavy work or input activity. Thank you for the great blog post and the giveaway!

  79. I love making a bubble monster with my friends, simply blowing bubbles through a straw to make bubbles in soapy water in a large bowl. This helps my friends become a little more organized and grounded with all the prop input to their bellies!

  80. My favorite calming strategies is reducing visual stimuli and increasing proprioceptive input and calming auditory music (if preferred!)

  81. Something that I like that to do with kids, especially at the beginning of sessions, is to do heavy work! Something fun like an obstacle course can give the kids the input they need, and help start the session by creating a fun atmosphere!

  82. I start my sessions with a movement activity. A popular one is a Zoom ball. Than I transition to a desk where we rub our hands together as we settle at the desk.

  83. This would be such a helpful & amazing resource to have to add to my OT tool bag of goodies! I have so many precious little ones who will result benefit from this!🤗

  84. Most of my kids like to swing so I like to take breaks as needed to allow them to self-regulate from a challenging activity while using the swing.

  85. I try to have the child tell me what they feel they need to help them calm but I love using the swing, deep pressure with the therapy ball, heavy work activities, or sitting on the mat and reading together.

  86. I have several things I typically use, depending on what the child likes/dislikes! I have several different swings- platform, bolster, cocoon, net, that are very popular, or I’ll dim the lights and wrap them up in a blanket burrito. I also have lavender scented putty for one of my kiddos who loves smells.

  87. My favorite calming input is heavy work/proprioceptive activities. Push pin fine motor activities have also had a calming impact on some of my older boys.

  88. I like to have the kids swing head to toe on a platform swing slowly for calming. I also use deep pressure for calming.

  89. I start the session in the motor lab so each child can get the proprioceptive and vestibular input they need to prepare for work. During seated work we will take small breaks for brain gym or a simple yoga move to help them regroup.

  90. Deep breathing is a favorite strategy and there are so many ways you can teach it. We use “smell the cake and blow out the candles,” as one example. Pairing stories and breathing and movement (such as yoga or Pilates exercises) has been a great way to support calming.

  91. I like to use kid-friendly bubble bath shampoo in a bin filled with water and fun little toys. Sometimes I will ask the kids to use their hands to play with the bubble bath solution or I will use tools like a turkey baster to push the water around. A lot kids really enjoy playing with water as a calming strategy.

  92. Handwriting is a BIG issue for lots of my K students. Letter start and pathway are two of the most frequent issues, along with letter size!

  93. I use a variety of calming strategies as every child is different. I love to use heavy work with obstacle courses, blowing through a straw in a cotton ball race, use of a metronome for calm/focus with writing and controlled linear swinging And so much more!

  94. I love to use play dough, I make mine in the microwave and it is super soft, so nice for rolling and forming into shapes.

  95. I like to provide calming sensory input with wobble cushions and therapy bands placed around the legs of the chair, since these can help sensory seeking kids stay focused during handwriting activities!

  96. Depending on what works for the student I use weighted items, heavy work, deep pressure, and compressions mostly. For some all it takes is a break from the classroom and a quiet space with lights dimmed or off, choice of sitting, lying on a mat with or without weighted object and calming music. I had one that relaxed to metronome. It all depends on the student preference.

  97. Heavy work, deep breathing (balloon breath, breathing with a stuffed animal on the child’s stomach), calming imagery and relaxing nature sounds/music are my go to’s There are podcasts with hours of relaxing music that you can use for this purpose.

  98. My students enjoy being in my mat sandwich. I have the child lay between two gym mats and I apply pressure to the top mat with my body weight or A weighted ball.

  99. Calm down bottles and quiet corners as well as having parents model deep breathing have been very successful for me in the EI field.

  100. My favorite calming activity is “Volcano Breathing”. A short explanation is the student is a volcano. They breathe in, filling their belly with a lot of lava at the same time raising their arm above their head ( straight out to the side and up). . They hold their breath for a few seconds, and then Spew out ALL of the lava….bringing their hands straight out and down…. The kids seem to really like it and it helps to get them centered and calm.

  101. For calming, I turn down the lights! Deep pressure to the hands and forearms followed by heavy work.

  102. soft music, dimmed lighting and gentle rocking in lycra swing or over a ball.
    Also deep pressure massage as well as bean bag sandwiches.

  103. Depending on the student’s needs, I like the results that deep pressure and heavy work give to a student in need of calming. I also have used calming music or a familiar song they know, deep breathes tracing figure of 8 pattern, counting, or organizing cards in a deck.

  104. I use a sensory cushion to help with all the Wiggles and Jitters 🙂
    the Black back writing programme sounds very promising!

  105. By having the child actively engage in full body joint traction or compression sensory play such as hanging from a pull up bar or jumping from a mini trampoline to come wash on a crash pad a small many time slots Ashley need to till they are calm and ready to sit; often on the way back to the table wheelbarrow walking or animal walks also help as well!

  106. I love creating a sensory bottle with the child and also practicing breathing and yoga movements with the kids!

  107. I am a parent, not an OT, but we are slowly adding to our supply items for my sensory kids. We recently added a porch swing, and I find my kids chilling out on it all the time.

  108. I often incorporate heavy work and deep pressure. I also like incorporating the 4 B’s of Self Control as a transition between activities to reset and calm the body.

  109. I like to use tactile play in a quiet space for calming an over aroused child. I also find using a scooter board in prone cam be helpful if done consistently.

  110. For my students for need both sensory and fine motor interventions, I have a motor routine when they enter my classroom. A few minutes on the trampoline, a few minutes on the swing (if appropriate), then pick 3 popsicles sticks with an action, complete for 1 minute each. Then they have to help me clean-up (usually just putting the trampoline back up against the wall, but it’s heavy work!), then sit at the table. In the OT room, my general rule is that my students do not need to sit in a chair, as long as they are participating in the activities. Once they ask for something, typically a ball to sit on, they have to be engage in the activity. Rarely do I have to ask a student to return to a chair.

  111. I like to use heavy weight paired with something tactile or relaxing music… depending sensory preferences. Music is my personal ppreference.

  112. I like to use heavy weight paired with something tactile or relaxing music… depending sensory preferences. Music is my personal ppreference.

  113. I am fortunate to have a net and snuggle swing in my classroom. I also like to use calming music, low lights,visual input, deep breathing with pinwheel or bubbles and calming tactile bins

  114. Hard to pick a favorite, but Many of my kids like the sandwich or rolling up in blanket in a cocoon while the butterfly develops and then quietly emerges as the beautiful and ready butterfly!

  115. In the classroom setting, we have worked to set up quiet spaces where a child can go and ‘take a break’. Each classroom has different items depending on what the teachers are comfortable with but they often include something soft to sit on, low or no lights on, lighted items, hand fidgets, massagers or weighted items, and visually soothing items.

  116. I like to put happy or calming music on like ABBA or something like that to calm my daughter down to work on writing letters and numbers. She does not like writing and when I put the music on she says it makes her more relaxed and it more enjoyable.

  117. I find that many kiddos who are hyperactive enjoy vibration as a calming tool (pillows, wiggle pen, etc)

  118. I like to do a variety of things to provide calming sensory input: lights out or down low in my room with only emergency lights on, use lavender essential oil in diffuser, platform swing with linear movement, deep pressure activities with bean bags on mat.

  119. Activities that supply deep pressure input and, if the client likes movement, linear input in a hammock swing is very calming.

  120. I have had a lot of success with simple rocking chairs in a quiet corner that can be paired with reading a book or looking at a sensory bottle.

  121. Jumping jacks, wall pushes, couch literal crashes, yoga positions, bubble blowing, weighted vest, top spinner, pushing heavy boxes around.

  122. I give them choices like a menu so they feel in control. Often times it’s physical (20 jumping jacks, 20 second plank hold, etc.) . Love all the other responses, I learned so much!

  123. I give them choices like a menu so they feel in control. Often times it’s physical (20 jumping jacks, 20 second plank hold, etc.) . Love all the other responses, I learned so much!

  124. For myself and my kids I love diffusing essential oils, using a accupressure mat, weighted blanket or lighting candles. For my students I think that a darker room with soft music and soft lighting and weighted objects is very soothing.

  125. With pictures I offer a few choices such as pushing or pulling , swing or brushing/joint compression and compression garments or tunnel

  126. A good squeeze or hug :). Singing a slow song or playing music at a certain beat. Linear swinging!

  127. A good squeeze or hug :). Singing a slow song or playing music at a certain beat. Linear swinging!

  128. I determine what each child needs most. I use heavy work (wall/ chair pushups, pushing a table across the room, wheelbarrow, etc.), breathing exercises, yoga and limited choices for anxious kiddos.

  129. Joint compressions (deep pressure) and hand massage with fragrance-free lotion are very calming. Weighted blankets, vests and compression vests (can be weighted, too) Sensory bottles, chewing oral-motor chewies, and playing in various media, such as flax seed, cornmeal, water, in a sensory table are all calming, too.

  130. This is an interesting idea with the black background. I like to use slow, linear swiging in a parachute swing for combined prioprioceptive and vestibular inputs

  131. I tend to follow the child’s lead when taking sensory breaks but will introduce calming input like swinging or using a weighted blanket if their energy is high.

  132. In addition to many wonderful comments above, I sometimes use SPIO vests to give body compression.

  133. I love linear pushes on a swing using a camping light and the room lights off and using a therapy ball and deep pressure to “make a pizza” with toppings.

  134. For school-age students, I often recommend chair pushups, deep breathing, pushing open palms together at midline, use of chewy tubes, and drinking from straw cups.

  135. Heavy work and decreased environmental stimuli (dim lighting, decrease verbal commands, remove distracting items)

  136. With distance learning in the Spring, I started using the app/website: Stop, Breathe, Think to help my students with self-regulation and calming at home. Go Noodle-Flow and Cosmic Kids Yoga-Peace Out also has some guided relaxation and heavy work videos that have been helpful.

  137. With distance learning in the Spring, I started using the app/website: Stop, Breathe, Think to help my students with self-regulation and calming at home. Go Noodle-Flow and Cosmic Kids Yoga-Peace Out also has some guided relaxation and heavy work videos that have been helpful.

  138. I like to provide a weighted lap pad and keep my lights adjusted low. No “white/blue” lights if possible. I also like to use hand tools depending on the situation

  139. I like to provide a weighted lap pad and keep my lights adjusted low. No “white/blue” lights if possible. I also like to use hand tools depending on the situation

  140. My favorite way to provide calming sensory input is either linear swinging or tactile input via play-dough, rice bin, bean bins, etc.!

  141. Addin.g weight that kids need to carry is something that all kids love to do. It makes them feel string, and kids love to be a helper

  142. Addin.g weight that kids need to carry is something that all kids love to do. It makes them feel string, and kids love to be a helper

  143. Deep pressure, such as roll up as a burrito in a blanket or roll a therapy ball over the child with gentle pressure

  144. Deep pressure, such as roll up as a burrito in a blanket or roll a therapy ball over the child with gentle pressure

  145. I have some theraputty that I bury several small toys in them twist it up. The goal is for him to dig around, pull and pinch the putty to find all the toys. He loves finding the surprises inside the “tornado” putty!

  146. I have some theraputty that I bury several small toys in them twist it up. The goal is for him to dig around, pull and pinch the putty to find all the toys. He loves finding the surprises inside the “tornado” putty!

  147. I use muscle relaxation strategies and encourage parents to create soothing bags of sensory items.

  148. To calm a child down using sensory input I think heavy work is a great way to start! I just graduated and during my fieldwork I learned that drawing circles actually has a calming effect on those with ASD which I thought was so interesting!

  149. I have a calming corner with fidgets, books about different feelings, a sensory canoe, but their favorite is the timers that look like lava lamps.

  150. I have a calming corner with fidgets, books about different feelings, a sensory canoe, but their favorite is the timers that look like lava lamps.

  151. I don’t have many tools in my school room, but jumping on the trampoline does wonders for regulation!

  152. I don’t have many tools in my school room, but jumping on the trampoline does wonders for regulation!

  153. I’ve had success with weighted blankets, swinging, trampoline, and pulling exercise bands looped around a doorknob.

  154. I spy, what’s the difference worksheets, heavy work, deep pressure, rhythmic swinging, breathing techniques

  155. Being thrown into teletherapy like most therapists this spring was a challenge. This blog was a lifesaver for ideas and information! Parent coaching and creating simple sensory break ideas using home materials was my go to for teletherapy! A creative challenge!

  156. Being thrown into teletherapy like most therapists this spring was a challenge. This blog was a lifesaver for ideas and information! Parent coaching and creating simple sensory break ideas using home materials was my go to for teletherapy! A creative challenge!

  157. Deep breathing!!! Can be done anywhere, at anytime! Such a useful calming technique to teach our kiddos in hopes that they will use this technique independently when needed.

  158. I always have calming/relaxation music playing in the background. And we’ll do deep pressure activities such as: compression roller, peapod, ball bath. If I need to, I’ll have them sit with their back against me on the floor to do an activity as I slowly provide some slow rhythmic rocking with my body.

  159. We have sensory bins that I have put together with several items we had around the house and some items I have purchased or made My kiddo will chose an item on his own often. He usually goes for smelly playdoh, playdoh slime, or kinetic sand. He has been known to seek out and McDonalds happy meal toy or 2, birthday party tiny kalidescopes, nose makers, bristle blocks, stretchy fidgets.

  160. Heavy work!!! Especially if they are helping while doing it such as pushing a cart with books on it for the librarian. Kids love to help and it creates such a sense of pride while helping to organize their mind/body.

  161. I like to incorporate the right amount of sensory stimulation for the calming sensory input. Its very much dependent on the child’s threshold and seeking behaviors, likes, etc.

  162. At the beginning of each school year I have all my students make their own sensory calming bottles. This is a fun activity at the beginning of the school year. They get to put whatever they want inside of it. (The trick is to have a lot to choose from). They made it so they take ownership in it and love using it all school year.

  163. I like to keep their hands and feet busy, so something like vacuuming or wiping down the tables. Chores to do around the classroom. Class jobs!

  164. I like to keep their hands and feet busy, so something like vacuuming or wiping down the tables. Chores to do around the classroom. Class jobs!

  165. Singing nursery songs and providing firm hugs. I provide a safe, chewable toy at the same time. Telling a story or reading a book.

  166. I begin many sessions with “warm ups”, especially dots and squeezies (S’cool Moves). I like to have a sheet of warm ups, and let them pick one, then I pick one. Whole body movements are included as a choice, though many are fine motor movements.
    It’s a nice calming way to begin a session and teach students sensory techniques.

  167. My first input for a child is to do deep pressure through their shoulders while they are sitting in their chair. If this has an impact, I will move to weighted neck “snakes” or lap pads.

  168. I like to use heavy work activities and tasks that are repetitive, such as watching visual glitter tubes, swinging rhythmically, or coloring.

  169. According to me the most calming sensory input is rocking the child on the theraball in prone, tapping head, lycra swing, theraputty.

  170. According to me the most calming sensory input is rocking the child on the theraball in prone, tapping head, lycra swing, theraputty.

  171. I like to use joint compressions/deep pressure as a calming technique! Also slow swinging motions on a swing works well.

  172. I have sensory objects placed around my OT room and I take note of which kid navigates toward what item.

  173. Deep pressure activities, playing classical music, breathing techniques, dimming the lights and talking softly.

  174. Sitting on, being sandwiched in between, and/or going under a bean bag chair help calm my students. The magic sequins / mermaid pillow also helps a lot.

  175. My son can write, but he has trouble spacing his words and letters too far apart. Like sky writing almost. He starts of real big and as the sentence grows, he starts to write out of the margins and upward (sky writing). This is a struggle. We started cursive writing recently, too, in order to see if there is any real difference in his pattern or writing. His teachers have not started this, but we are working on it at home with paper.

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