Shoestrings - Sensory/Gross Motor Room



The Sensory/Gross Motor room is a special room which combines a range of stimuli designed to help students engage their senses. Our Occupational Therapist provides opportunities for engagement in prevention and crisis de-escalation strategies, in addition to promoting self-care/self-nurturance and resilience.


  • Assessment:  Prior to a cohort starting primary caregivers and teachers are given sensory assessments to fill out so the team is better able to understand and support a child’s sensory needs.  At the end of a 10 week cohort, families and teachers receive a detailed OT Report and sensory menu.
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  • Sensory throughout the day: Opportunities for Sensory Input and Movement are incorporated throughout the day at Shoestrings and are utilized by the transdisciplinary team.  When using a sensory strategy at Shoestrings, school, or home we have explicit expectations that we review with the child each time they are presented with a sensory strategy.  If they want a chewie for example, we ask them what is it used for and what happens if it is being used as a toy?  The sensory item is then removed from the child for a short period of time, with the expectation they can access it again after reviewing rules and expectations for use. 
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  • OT Block Activities: OT activities are intentionally designed to help support a child’s need for sensory input. Activities look at stimulating various senses like touch (sand table, playdough, shaving cream), vestibular (swings, scoot boards, sit n spin, hand eye coordination games), monkey bars, trampolines, blowing bubbles, and crash pads (proprioception), obstacle courses (visual motor, vestibular), and so much more.
  • That’s part of the reason why we turned one large OT room into two smaller rooms.  Each room has slightly different activities which can enhance children’s exposure to different types of play and movement.  Some children might be able to get their sensory needs met through their daily activities as their sensory systems are appropriately regulating and sensing the input around them. Other children may have a sensory system that is over or under responsive to sensory stimuli and needs more or less input to regulate themselves. OT also uses what is intrinsically motivating to a child to help support self-regulation, learning, and exploring. 


This page was last updated on March 5, 2021