I teach special education preschool in a public elementary school. My students are 2-5 years old and have a wide range of abilities. The majority of my students come from low income homes and have multiple risk factors. More than half of my students have disabilities, including developmental delays, Autism, ADHD, sensory issues and anxiety. Because my students' needs are so diverse, differentiation and a wide range of age appropriate materials are critical to their success.
Despite all of the challenges they face each day, my students are the sweetest children in the world and they deserve the very best!
I want to provide a quality learning environment and help them develop the essential skills they will need for kindergarten and on. This means addressing all domains of their development, most importantly social/emotional skills, self-regulation and self-awareness.
Sensory play is extremely important for young children, especially those with disabilities. Providing a variety of sensory materials, including sand, play dough, finger paint and beads, allows children to learn about their senses, math skills (volume, quantity, addition, and subtraction), cause/effect and experimentation. I chose these materials to give my students experiences with different textures and mediums. These materials can be used independently during free choice centers, in small group instruction and team building collaboration activities.
Sensory activities can also be used as a calming strategy for children with Sensory Processing Disorder, Autism and Anxiety disorders.
In addition to all the educational and developmental benefits, sensory play is FUN and ENGAGING for young children. Please consider helping me provide these opportunities for my amazing students!
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