Working With Sensory Issues

by Katy

There are a lot of kids out there with different kinds of sensory issues–sometimes it’s related to another condition like Autism or Brain Injury, but some children deal with only sensory issues. In any case, it can be hard to know where to start, and recently a reader here at No Time for Flashcards asked about the types of things I do with my son to work on his issues.

I’m not a doctor or a therapist, but I learned this activity from one of the many fantastic Early Interventionists that worked with Charlie when he was young.

First you need to collect several things that have different textures and a piece of cardboard. For this activity I sent my husband to the dollar store with five bucks and told him to buy red things with different textures. He came back with some interesting choices, but I won’t complain because I took a nap while he was at the store.

We’re studying fruit right now, so I cut out my cardboard into the shape of an apple. Then I glued down all of our different textured stuff. You don’t have to do a particular shape for this project–you can just use a plain piece of cardboard.

After everything is dry, present your child with the board. Take their hand and gently guide them through touching all of the different textures. Note which textures upset them. If a texture seems especially horrible, try having them touch it with the backs of their hand. You might also try both hands and see if one handles textures better than the other. My son is more experimental with his right hand than his left.

If you notice that some textures are tough, remember them because these are the ones that you will have to work on with your child more and more.

Present the board to your child several times. See if some textures improve with more exposure. These are all hints that will help your child get more comfortable with new and different textures.


Katy is a mom of one who loves art, mystery novels, and anything involving peanut butter–she blogs about raising her little miracle at Bird on the Street.
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  1. says

    When our 2 oldest were first diagnosed with ASD (different forms), they both had severe sensory issues. We did this activity, but put everything in a box, having them reach in & take one “surprise at a time. We also did it with different food textures, different lotions & brushes for their skin, etc. Happy to say that it didnt take long for them to overcome their sensory issues! 🙂

  2. says

    Great idea! We’ve made sensory steps before, but not a sensory board.
    One of my sons had severe ear problems, surgery at 1-year old, and didn’t begin to speak until he was 3-4years old. We did a LOT of sensory exercises at that time with his speech therapist, and it benefited the younger boys, too, who were allowed to sit in on a lot of the sessions.
    Thanks for the idea!

  3. says

    This is such a super neat idea! I think all children should have lots of sensory things to play with, especially when they are just starting to explore their surroundings. One of my fb friends, Leeanne made the neatest sensory board and she used Dollar Tree stuff too! It turned out awesome! Here is a link to hers on Teach Preschool:!/photo.php?fbid=10150213692405015&set=o.171532167206

    I am going to share this with my peeps too. Here is the link if you would like to check it out and pop over to say Hi!

    You are one amazing Gal!

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