Hand Clapping Patterns

These tasks are presented in developmental sequence:

One step clapping pattern:
1. Clap hands to music or rhymes
2. Slap own thighs

Two step sequence
1. Clap own hands, slap own thighs
2. Clap own hands, tap own shoulders
3. Clap own hands, tap own head

Twp step sequence with repeat
1. Clap own hands twice, slap own thighs twice
2. Clap own hands three times, slap own thighs three times

Three step sequence
(same as two, but add another step)

Right and left hand Take Turns
1. Clap, slap left hand on left thigh; clap, slap right hand on right thigh
2. Clap, slap left hand on left thigh; slap right hand on right thigh; clap

Crossing Midline of Body
1. Clap, cross arms and slap thighs
2. Clap, slap left hand on right thigh, slap right hand on left thigh, clap

PUMPKINS for sensory integration

Carving pumpkins is one of the most natural, but most sensory experiences during the Halloween season. Here are some hints for your sensory kiddo:

1. EMBRACE THE GOO!! I know it's yucky, but love the pumpkin insides. HAve the child use his hands to grab the goo and pull it out. Even if its only once, celebrate the experience and move on to using a spoon or scooper.

2. Use punch outs or light bright pegs to create a pumpkin face. I suggest my favorites on my fine motor blog. Both type of "carving" allows for intense proprioceptive input and body awareness. In addtion, a nice jack o lantern is created!

3. Heavy work = clean up the mess. Have the child use a mop, broom, etc. to help clean up the pumpkin mess. Be sure to use the arms and hands to "scrub" the floor or table to allow for more input.

All of the above suggestions were and are used every Halloween in Austim early childhood, physical disabilities early childhood and overall developmental delay early childhood students.

Move & Dance

Put on your favorite music and dance with your child.
Let the child feel the way your body moves by holding him or her close as you move around. This body-to-body contact will stimulate concept development.
Encourage your child or imitate your movements on their own when they are ready.
Talk about your movements. For example: "I'm going to sway to this music." "I'm rocking." "I'm jumping and hopping around."
Most of all, just have fun by moving and enjoying the movements together

Raking Leaves - Heavy Work

Have your child help you rake and transport leaves as you rake your yards this fall. This is a heavy work activity that is easy to do and the benefits are worth it!

Sensory Shakers

Cover old, clean containers (butter tubs, juice cans, plastic bottles, paper towel tubes, etc.) with different textures. You can use several different textures on each container if it is big enough. Put some kind of noise-maker inside (bells, beans, rice, popcorn kernels) and seal it tightly. Be sure to monitor the toy to be sure it stays sealed and don't let your child play with it alone.

Classic Shaving Cream

To help students with tactile defensivness, everyone enjoys trying shaving cream, foam soap or similar textured products. Children can play in shaving cream wtih toys (cars, blocks, etc.) without damaging them. I encourage pre-writing strokes and name writing in the cream as well.

Proprioception Fun

Jump on a mini-trampoline, play hopscotch, vacuum, carry books from one room to another, help wash windows or a tabletop.

Grocery Cart

A great walk to incorporate heavy work into a daily task is to allow your child to push the cart when in the store. It not only helps them learn body awareness and environmental awareness, but it works wonders for the sensory system toO!

Animal Walks

These are fun ways to walk that incoporate the sensory system and helps with modulation and awareness:

Frog Jump: Come to a full squat position with the hands on the floor outside of the knees. Jump forward, landing in the same position.

Puppy Run: Run forward with both hands and both feet on the floor.

Mule Kick From a squatting position with the hands on the floor outside the knees, shift the body weight forward to the hands and kick both legs backward.

Rooster Walk Strut forward with the knees stiff and the hands at the side of the chest. Wiggle the elbows like flapping wings.

Bunny Hop From a squat position with the hands on the floor, place the weight on the hands and hop forward with the legs; move the hands forward and repeat.

Ostrich Walk Bend forward at the waist and grab the ankles. Keep the knees stiff and walk forward moving the head in and out.

Birds Stand on the toes and wave outstretched arms slowly up and down. As the "wings" flap faster, run faster.

Galloping Horses Gallop forward placing both hands in front as if holding the horse's reins.

Seal Walk. From a position flat on the flor, push the upper body off the floor with the arms. Proceed forward dragging the legs behind.

Bear Walk. Bend over at the waist and touch the floor with the hands. Keeping the legs and arms stiff and the head up, walk forward in a crosslateral fashion (left leg, right arm, and so forth).

Found on: http://www.keystoneblind.org


Child is rolled in blankets and rolled around on the floor.
This provides deep pressure input.

* Activities should be monitored by an adult to ensure safety.

Chair Push Ups

Chair Push Ups
While seated in the chair, the child lifts body up and down using arms to support themselves.

* All activities should be monitored by an adult for safety.

Basic Sensory Definition

Depending on where you read, sensory integration, sensory modulation and sensory diets can become overwhelming and confusing. Basically, the body has sensory systems and those sensory systems can become off kilter resulting in disruptive or undesired behaviors. These behaviors may appear lethargic, over-stimulated, hyper, sleep, under-stimulated, etc.

When looking at the sensory system, there are several sensory systems that may need modulating (balancing). Here are basic definitions of them:
Proprioceptive input (sensations from joints, muscles and connective tissues that lead to body awareness) can be obtained by lifting, pushing, and pulling heavy objects as well as by engaging in activities that compress (push together) or distract (pull apart) the joints.
Vestibular input (the sense of movement, centered in the inner ear) can be obtained by spinning and swinging, and to a lesser extent, any type of movement. This systems is closely related to a child's body to tolerate gravity and its pull.
Tactile input is the sense of touch and includes texture, temperature, pressure, pain, etc.
Auditory input is what we hear.
Visual input is what we see.
What we smell...
Influenced by the sense of smell, this is what is taste.

Ultimately, when looking at child's needs, a parent or teacher should seek the expert advice of a trained OT for sensory evaluation and treatment. However, that can be much easier said than done. This blog will serve as a resource for activities that you as the parent or teacher can get started until you can find an OT.


This is the first post in the blog designed to provide fun solutions to meet the sensory needs of your child or student.