Shine with Unschooling

Two books that were very helpful to me in assisting my son to feel Whole, Connected and Grounded were:

  1. The Highly Sensitive Child by Dr. Elaine Aron
  2. The Out of Sync Child by Carol Stock Kranowitz


On my Shine with Unschooling Yahoo list, we post the list below of Sensory Activities every month.

Thank you to Tracy Thornburg for compiling this fantastic list!


Experiences that may help to relax the nervous system

* Stretches

* Deep pressure massage

* Slow rocking or swinging

* Fidget toys

* Progressive muscle relaxation

* Quite music with a steady beat

* Bear hugs

* Reduced noise and light levels

* Lavender, vanilla or other soothing smells

* Snuggling in a sleeping bag, large pillows or bean bag chair





Experiences that can help an individual become focused and attentive

*Sucking or chewing on hard candy or gum

* Adding rhythm to the activity

* Vibration-toy massager, vibrating pillow, wiggle pen

* 'Heavy work' tasks to include hanging, pushing, pulling or carrying

heavy objects




To organize

*Swinging on a swing or climbing

* Rhythmical sustained movement: marching, washing

a table, or bouncing

* Rocking in a rocking chair

* "Squeezie" toys (koosh balls, balloons or rubber gloves

filled with flour or cream, soft balls, gak, silly putty)

* Hanging by the arms on the monkey bars (20-30 seconds)

* Pushing/carrying heavy objects

* Carrying back packs weighted with books or bags of

dried beans (this should only be worn for 15-20 minutes

with an hour or two between)

*A reading corner with a bean bag chair makes a wonderful

place for escape when there is too much stimulation. Some

children may like the bean bag on top of them.

* Play dough

* Tactile Bins (cornmeal, oatmeal, water, sand, rice, beans)

** A bin full of bird seed (brought outside) is merrily cleaned

up by the birdies -- no mess! :')

* Kitchen time (mixing, tasting, smelling, washing up)

* Finger painting


Some children also need extra sensory input in their mouths and 

hands in order to organize their behavior:


* Drinking from a water bottle

* Chewing (you can use a straw, rubber tubing or coffee stir stick)




* Being brushed with a corn de-silking brush (in one direction

approximately 10 times with pressure brush their arms, back

(but not over the spine), legs (on the top, outer parts and

underneath, avoid the inner thigh area), top of the feet and

the hands)

* Sucking on hard candy, frozen fruit bar, or spoonful of peanut

butter or marshmallow fluff

* Licorice tug-of-war, blow pin wheels or various types of blow

toys, bubbles and whistles

* Pushing against walls with the hands, shoulders, back, buttocks

and head

* Cuddling or back rubbing

* Taking a bath

* Being rolled tightly like a hot dog in a blanket

* Being squished under a therapy ball, mat or couch cushion

* Tug-of-war

* Wheelbarrow walking, jumping games like hop scotch

* Crashing games-run and dive into boxes, bean bags and

couch cushions

* Pulling a wagon, carrying a heavy book bag, digging in the

yard or carrying groceries

* Sports such as wrestling and football

* Deep pressure (giving a massage) and joint compressions

(holding above one joint and under one joint then doing a

quick 10 repetitions of compressions, pushing and pulling)

* A mini trampoline

* A sockem bopper or whatever they call those weighted

kid-sized things that spring back up after you knock them