Sensory Tie-in Activities
Before you start these activities, brainstorm all of the different characteristics a ball might have. Have children think about all of the senses and in what ways you can see, hear, smell, touch, and taste a ball.
1. Read book, Ball! Ball! Ball! A picture book to inspire sensory awareness.
Discuss what “balls” Tom sees. As pupils if they can remember them all. How does Tom’s mother explain to him the different characteristics of the different balls? How would you describe a ball?
2. Guess the “ball” bag
Gather various round objects, such as marbles, balloons, frozen peas, round rocks, etc.
Put one object in a grab bag and pass it around the room letting each child only put their hand in to feel the object. Have pupils try to guess what the object is. Were the students correct?
3. Mindmap the “ball” characteristics
Depending on the age of the child, either do one large mind-map or have children do their own. Put the word “ball” in the middle of the page and then each of the different objects outside of this. Have pupils think about what characteristics each of the items has, for example, a frozen pea is small, cold, yummy, and bumpy. A rubber ball may be large, warm, bouncy and smell funny. Try to remember each of the senses when describing objects.
4. Do all balls roll?
Make a ramp and have pupils try rolling each of the different round objects down it. What objects roll well and which didn’t? Why is this?
5. Sensory center
Put a bunch of peas in one box, some marbles in another, and perhaps some balloons in a third. Have children see what it feels like to put their hands in the various balls.
6. Ball jump
Put a bunch of balloons on a trampoline and let children jump in them. Just be careful to remove any broken balloons as they can be a choking hazard. Also, a popped balloon can scare some children and should only be used if you are sure children are okay with this sound.
7. Ball Collage
Have children cut out different balls out of material, paper, cardboard, etc. and create a collage that you can hand on the wall to celebrate sensory diversity!
Many of these wonderful ideas, I got from Maddi Outram’s special education class at Bangabandhu Primary School in London. I visited her school in May and had a wonderful time. If you have more sensory activity ideas that you would like to add to this list, please contact me below. Thank you and I hope you enjoy these games!