100 Sensory Break Ideas For Children  

Children who have Sensory Processing Disorder should have sensory breaks throughout the day to keep them regulated. They need to maintain their sensory diet regularly, even when they are not displaying the need for it. We should not wait until they are already dysregulated to accommodate their sensory needs.

Sensory breaks are an important part of a child's daily routines especially those who have sensory processing disorder. 

These breaks allow children to regulate their sensory input and help them stay focused and engaged in activities throughout the day.

Sensory breaks are a part of a child's sensory diet that is carefully planned by your child's  occupational therapist. They are a sensory schedule of activities that help children with sensory processing disorder.

Using a visual timer or visual schedule are helpful so that your child knows what the planned for their day,  sensory breaks will be and for how long. Give your child warnings that the break is soon ending. Sensory breaks should accommodate your child's sensory needs. Consult an Occupational Therapist to plan a sensory diet for your child. 

The duration and how often your child needs their sensory breaks can be different for each child. Some children may need short breaks more often but other children may only need a few longer breaks throughout the day. It is important to observe your child’s behavior and mood to determine the appropriate time for their sensory break.

It is important to understand what sensory breaks are and how often they should be included  in your child’s daily routine. Sensory breaks are short periods of time typically lasting a few minutes during the day that your child engages in sensory activities that stimulate their senses. 

Their sensory breaks can be both calming and energizing, depending on the level of arousal your child needs. They are designed to provide a sensory reset for the child, allowing them to better participate in activities.

The idea of a sensory diet was first introduced by occupational therapist Patricia Wilbarger in the late 1980's. A sensory diet is a set of sensory activities that can help children with sensory processing disorder regulate their responses to sensory input. It is like
 a balanced meal but for your child's body. A sensory diet provides a balance of sensory input that helps your child stay regulated throughout the day.

These activities provide a strong tactile input to the body, which can be calming for some children. Examples of deep pressure activities include weighted blankets, bear hugs, or squeezing a stress ball.

Physical activities such as jumping jacks, wall push-ups, or animal walks (crab walk, bear crawl, etc.) can provide much-needed movement breaks for children who struggle with sensory regulation.

Filling a small container with various textures, such as rice, beans, sand, or water beads, can be a great sensory break for children. They can run their hands through the materials, explore with different tools, or hide objects for a fun and engaging experience.

Playing soft and soothing music in the background can help children relax and focus during sensory breaks. Classical music, nature sounds, or white noise can all be beneficial.

Small handheld objects that provide sensory stimulation, such as stress balls, squishy toys, or textured objects, can be helpful for children during sensory breaks.

Sensory breaks should be for each child’s specific sensory needs and preferences. Parents should work closely with their child’s occupational therapist to create a sensory diet that works best for them.  
Sensory breaks should be included in a child’s daily schedule. These breaks can help children stay focused and regulate their emotions. 

1. Using a weighted blanket

2. Running around

3. Ball Pit

4. Yoga

5. Jumping on a crash pad 

6. Climbing Stairs

7. Sensory bottles/Calm down jars

8. Drinking with a straw

9. Tossing a weighted ball

10. Sensory platform swing

11. Jumping on a trampoline 
12. Bear walks

13. Jumping on bubble wrap

14. Using a scooter board

15. Obstacle course

16. Blow up balloons

17. Wearing a weighted vest

18. Using a jumping hopper ball

19. Glow sticks bath tub

20. Sliding down the slide

21. Balancing games

22. Big hugs

23. Eat sour and spicy flavors 

24. Rocking 

25. Stringing beads (fine motor)

26. Heavy Work Activities 

27. Roller blades

28. Wagon ride

29. Teeter totter

30. Merry-go-round

31. Soccer

32. Make slime

33. Wikki Stix 

34. Ball hockey

35. Hopscotch

36. Crawling through boxes 

37. Pulling apart resistant toys/objects

38. Squishing between pillows

39. Push ups 

40. Stretching in a sensory body sock

41. Spinning on chair with wheels

42. Rocking on a rocking horse

43. Hanging upside down off couch

44. Climbing on playground equipment

45. Play with Clay

46. Retrieving objects hidden in rice or beans

47. Face and body painting

48. Whip cream painting

49. Pudding play

50. Push furniture around

51. Sit in a big comfy sensory bean bag chair

52. Using a peanut ball

53. Using a yoga ball

54. Spinning

55. Tug of war

56. Wheelbarrow walk

57. Have a bath with bath paint

58. Using Fidgets 

59. Gentle play wrestling

60. Jumping Jacks

61. Water play

62. Tickle over there skin softly
63. Sand play

64. Carrying weighted sensory backpack

65. Turn on bubble column
66. Play catch

67. Eating crunchy foods 

68. Chewing on some chew toys

69. Jumping on bouncy castle 
70. Hopscotch

71. Blanket Burito

72. Paint your hands with a paint brush

73. Blowing whistles

74. Chew gum

75. Play musical instruments
76. Listen to music

77. Build a blanket tent 

78. Spinning on a Bilibo 

79. Water Beads

80. Dancing

81.Wilbarger brushing 

82. Joint Compressions

83. Blowing bubbles

84. Playing with play dough
85. Playing in shaving cream

86. Discovering sensory bins

87. Massage

88. Crab walk

89. Cuddle a house pet
90. Trapeze

91. Bubble baths

92. Tattoo/stickers on body

93. Hitting a kids punching bag

94. Sensory Vibration cushion
95. Bouncing Teeter Totter 

96. Crawling through a sensory tunnel

97. Sit ups

98. Go visit an indoor sensory play park  

99. Lay down with sensory lights in the dark

100. Sensory cuddle swing 

DISCLAIMER: I am not an Occupational Therapist. I am an adult who has Sensory Processing Disorder, a sensory parent and a Grandma. The information on this website is not medical advice and does not replace the information that your child's therapists give you. These are just ideas and information that I have learned myself over the years of being a parent and an adult living with SPD. If you are concerned for your child, please always seek medical attention through a family doctor, pediatrician or therapist. This website is for suggestions and informational purposes only. Each child is different and what works for one child may not for another because all children have different needs. Please always consult with a professional.

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