How to support children's sensory Challenges

How to support children's sensory Challenges

8 Essential Tips for a Sensory-Friendly Experience

The early years of a child's life, especially during kindergarten, are crucial for sensory development. Sensory development during kindergarten has become even more important in the last few years, since the introduction of screen time.


As educators and parents, understanding and supporting sensory needs are essential in fostering a conducive environment for young learners.


Here are eight fundamental tips tailored to empower sensory development in kindergarten-aged children.

  1. Identify Sensory Triggers: Recognising what triggers sensory discomfort is pivotal. Whether it's tactile sensitivity, auditory overload, or aversion to certain scents, understanding these triggers aids in creating a supportive environment, with less stress and anxiety for all involved.

    How to slowly improve childrens sensory processing tolerance

  2. Start Gradually: Introduce sensory experiences in kindergarten slowly and progressively. Start with activities that offer mild sensory input (essential oils on cotton balls, painting using a brush instead of fingers, exploring sand in a tub not always a large sandpit, water play with warm water and bubbles, not always needing to be near the mud kitchen, etc. Gradually increasing complexity based on the child's comfort level will build up their sensory skills slowly, with as minimal stress as possible.

    How to slowly improve childrens sensory processing tolerance

  3. Create Sensory Spaces: Designate areas in the classroom that cater to different sensory needs. Establish quiet dark corners, simple and quiet tactile stations, or cozy nooks for children to retreat to when feeling overwhelmed.

    How to slowly improve childrens sensory processing tolerance

  4. Gradual Exposure Techniques: Utilise sensory bins, dry textured materials, or varied art supplies to gradually expose children to different textures and sensations, helping them acclimate comfortably.

  5. Teach Self-Regulation: Equip children with tools for self-regulation, such as breathing exercises, yoga movements in a small group, large fitballs and crash mats, or fidget toys, empowering them to manage sensory input independently.

  6. Empower Choice: Offer choices within activities to allow children to select sensory materials or experiences they feel most comfortable with, fostering autonomy and engagement.

    How to slowly improve childrens sensory processing tolerance

  7. Positive Reinforcement: Celebrate each child's progress. Acknowledge their efforts in engaging with sensory activities, boosting confidence and motivation.

  8. Collaborate with Specialists: Work alongside occupational therapists or myself to customise activities and strategies that address individual sensory needs effectively.


Prioritising sensory development in kindergarten sets a strong foundation for a child's holistic growth. By implementing these tips, educators and parents can create an environment that supports and nurtures sensory exploration and development in young learners.


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