Summer Sensory Stations

Summer sensory activities

Today’s sensory resource is a self-regulation tool that is very popular among therapy professionals and educators: an all-new Summer Sensory Stations set! This set of printable sensory path activities are nice because they can be printed off, laminated (or placed in a page protector sleeve), and hung in a hallway. We’ve received so much great feedback about out other seasonal sensory stations that this summer version was a must! Add this resource to your Summer occupational therapy activities.

You’ll want to check out the other sensory station printables at the bottom of this post.

Free summer sensory stations for a DIY sensory path or self-regulation tool with a summer theme.

Summer Sensory Stations

A DIY sensory path can include a few quick stops to add deep breathing, mindfulness, proprioception, vestibular input, eye-hand coordination, crossing midline, and whole-body movement.

And that’s just what this set of summer themed sensory stations includes!

The movement-based stops offer users to take a break at various stations and integrate movement, coordination, and visual input with deep breathing, and heavy work.

What a great way to add a quick brain break between activities or to get ready for a therapy session!

In this summer themed set of activities, you’ll find a printable page for each “station” or stop along the sensory path:

Bee path infinity loop-

The first page in the summer sensory path kit is a bee infinity loop, which is great for mindfulness, deep breathing, crossing midline, eye-hand coordination.

Tracing the infinity loop offers an opportunity for mindfulness through the summer bees’ paths as they move along the loop. This creative way to foster visual attention, self-regulation, self-awareness, coping skills, and concentration is fun for summer! By tracing the loop, hand-eye coordination and mindfulness allow the user to be more present in the moment, and more aware of themselves.

Some users may stand on an uneven surface while doing this activity to challenge balance and visual skills. Think about adding a gymnastics mat, slant board, balance pod, or other uneven standing surface.

Others may want to kneel or do a lunge while completing this activity to further challenge balance and coordination skills. The nice thing about the printable sensory station is that it can be raised or lowered on the wall easily.

Leap like a dolphin-

The next page in the sensory paths for summer is a “leap like a dolphin” activity. It’s a powerful activity for vestibular input, motor planning, and proprioceptive heavy work

Proprioception offers a way to “wake up” the joints and muscles in the body. This leaping activity can be done from a standing, kneeling, or from the floor. Proprioceptive input from the muscles and joints provides information about body position, weight, pressure, stretch, movement and changes in position in space, so this leaping activity adds a summer theme!

Beach ball wall push-up-

Next in the Summer Sensory Stations kit is a beach ball wall push up page. Add whole body proprioceptive input through the upper extremity: shoulder girdle, elbows, wrists, and arches of the hands. Plus wall push ups are a great strength and stability exercise for the core.

You can modify this activity to place it lower on the wall for a lunge position, or even can do the wall push-ups from a seated position to challenge seated balance. This is a great motor and sensory opportunity for wheelchair users.

Seashell trace and breathe printable-

Users love our spiral path deep breathing exercises. There is so much heavy work benefit to filling and emptying the lungs as a self-regulation strategy.

Follow the circular path from the crab to the seashell while breathing in. Then follow the path again to breathe out. This visual offers a deep breathing exercise for filling and emptying the entire lungs, which is a great interoception and proprioception exercise for mindfulness and self-regulation.

Summer Sand Squats-

Finally, the last page in the Summer Sensory Stations printable is a summer-themed squat exercise.

Users can do a certain number of repetition of squats along with the visual for a balance activity and coordination exercise. This visual is left open-ended but you could challenge users to pick up an object from the floor for more balance opportunities, or you could ask them to move their hands or keep their vision on an object for visual attention, etc.

How to Use these Summer Sensory Stations

Using these Summer sensory path stations is simple:

  • Print off the pages.
  • Laminate them or slide them into a page protector sleeve. This way the sheets can easily be cleaned with a spritz of cleanser or disinfectant spray.
  • Hang the pages in a hallway to create a DIY sensory path. Or, hang them in a corner of a room to make a sensory calm down corner.

You can use these stations as a brain break, a scheduled sensory diet activity, a calm-down activity, or a transition activity for routine sensory input. The stations are great because they can be used with all individuals, making them perfect for a groups of children at a sensory summer camp (or any type of summer camp!) or meeting individual needs during therapy sessions.

Want these Printable sensory Stations?

Enter your email address into the form below. You’ll receive an email containing the PDF file. This resource is also available in our Member’s Club, where members can head to the dashboard and click a download button to immediately access the printable along with hundreds of other resources…no need to enter your email address!

Want to add this resource to your therapy toolbox so you can help kids thrive? Enter your email into the form below to access this printable tool.

This resource is just one of the many tools available in The OT Toolbox Member’s Club. Each month, members get instant access to downloadable activities, handouts, worksheets, and printable tools to support development. Members can log into their dashboard and access all of our free downloads in one place. Plus, you’ll find exclusive materials and premium level materials.

Level 1 members gain instant access to all of the downloads available on the site, without enter your email each time PLUS exclusive new resources each month.

Level 2 members get access to all of our downloads, exclusive new resources each month, PLUS additional, premium content each month: therapy kits, screening tools, games, therapy packets, and much more. AND, level 2 members get ad-free content across the entire OT Toolbox website.

Join the Member’s Club today!

Free Summer Sensory Stations

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    Looking for more Sensory Stations?

    Check out these other themed sensory station printables:

    Colleen Beck, OTR/L is an occupational therapist with 20+ years experience, graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 2000. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. As the creator, author, and owner of the website and its social media channels, Colleen strives to empower those serving kids of all levels and needs. Want to collaborate? Send an email to contact@theottoolbox.com.

    June Occupational Therapy Calendar

    June activity calendar for occupational therapy

    If you are looking for Summer occupational therapy activities, this June occupational therapy calendar is for you! It’s loaded with June calendar ideas to help kids move, develop skills, and play this summer. Having a calendar for therapy activities ready to go is important to beat the summer slide when it comes to helping kids move with therapist-approved activities. Use this printable June calendar in occupational therapy home programs, summer lesson plans, and OT summer sessions! You’ll find more summer occupational therapy ideas on various places on the website.

    To get you started, also try this resource on summer occupational therapy crafts and this printable 100 things to do this summer.

    Both can be printed and used along with this free June activity calendar to support kids’ OT needs this year.

    June calendar ideas for occupational therapy and play at home during the summer.

    June Occupational Therapy Calendar

    We’re plugging along as the end of this school year arrives and the start of summer is right around the corner.  Are you ready for a summer with the kids?  
     
    It can be hard to stay on track with Occupational Therapy goals during the carefree days of summer.  This month, with the June activity calendar, I wanted to bring you easy ways to keep up on therapy goals.  
     
    There is nothing better than the whole family getting involved with a game or an outing. Family time is memory-making time and so this month’s  Occupational Therapy calendar is focused around family activities. 
     

    June Activities

     
    This Family wellness BINGO game is another tool to support overall family needs and can be a great addition to summer activities.
     
    The June OT calendar includes activities such as: 

    The June calendar ideas include other activities at the bottom of the page to support a variety of needs. These ideas can be used to replace activities on the calendar, if needed. 

    All of the June activities support a variety of developmental areas. We’ve selected the activity ideas based on development of skills through play and movement.

    Some of the developmental areas addressed in these June activities include:

    • Sensory processing
    • Visual processing
    • Executive functioning skills
    • Direction following
    • Motor skill development (fine motor and gross motor)

    Each June activity on the OT calendar targets sensory motor areas:

    • Tactile input
    • Proprioception
    • Vestibular input
    • Visual input

    Some activities are guided by olfactory, auditory, and gustatory input. 

    We’ve selected these June activities to support areas of functioning such as:

    1. Handwriting
    2. Scissor skills
    3. Self-care
    4. Cooking (following recipes)
    5. Game play
    6. Exploring the community

    More June Activities

    Exploring all that summer allows is a great way to develop skills during the Summer months. However, if you need a strategy, we’ve created a few resources for just this need.
     
    In fact, I’ve created a whole summer of OT activities that the get the family involved!  These are sensory-based treatment activities that build on skills that may make up your child’s Occupational Therapy goals.  The nice thing about these activities is that you can adjust the activity to meet individual goals. 
     

    You’ll be interested in our new Summer Occupational Therapy Activities Packet. It’s a collection of 14 items that guide summer programming at home, at school, and in therapy sessions. The summer activities bundle covers handwriting, visual perceptual skills and visual motor skills, fine motor skills, gross motor skills, regulation, and more.

    You’ll find ideas to use in virtual therapy sessions and to send home as home activities that build skills and power development with a fun, summer theme. Kids will love the Summer Spot It! game, the puzzles, handouts, and movement activities. Therapists will love the teletherapy slide deck and the easy, ready-to-go activities to slot into OT sessions. The packet is only $10.00 and can be used over and over again for every student/client!

    Grab the Spring Occupational Therapy Activities Packet HERE.

    summer occupational therapy activities for kids
     
    June Occupational Therapy calendar of activities for the family
     
     
     

    Want to take summer play to the next level? Be sure to grab your copy of the Summer OT Activities Bundle!

     
    Summer activities for kids

    Free June Activity Calendar

    Want to print off this calendar and add it to home programs or use it in therapy planning this summer? Enter your email address into the form below.

    Want to add this resource to your therapy toolbox so you can help kids thrive? Enter your email into the form below to access this printable tool.

    This resource is just one of the many tools available in The OT Toolbox Member’s Club. Each month, members get instant access to downloadable activities, handouts, worksheets, and printable tools to support development. Members can log into their dashboard and access all of our free downloads in one place. Plus, you’ll find exclusive materials and premium level materials.

    Level 1 members gain instant access to all of the downloads available on the site, without enter your email each time PLUS exclusive new resources each month.

    Level 2 members get access to all of our downloads, exclusive new resources each month, PLUS additional, premium content each month: therapy kits, screening tools, games, therapy packets, and much more. AND, level 2 members get ad-free content across the entire OT Toolbox website.

    Join the Member’s Club today!

    FREE JUNE Activity Calendar

      We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at anytime.

      Colleen Beck, OTR/L is an occupational therapist with 20+ years experience, graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 2000. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. As the creator, author, and owner of the website and its social media channels, Colleen strives to empower those serving kids of all levels and needs. Want to collaborate? Send an email to contact@theottoolbox.com.

      pool noodle Games and activities

      pool noodle activities

      If you are looking for fun gross motor coordination activities, then these pool noodle games and activities are a great therapy tool to support skill-building. The pool noodle games are great activities to add to therapy sessions, use in home programs, or to add to Field Day or summer therapy camps. Check out these pool noodle games that support development, learning, and sensory motor skills.

      Use these pool noodle activities and games to build skills.

      Pool Noodle Games

      A pool noodle is a swim toy that can be used to build swim skills or have pool-time fun. It can also be used as an OT tool to help build hand/finger skills, overall body strength/coordination, as well as balance, and motor planning skills.

      Because they are readily available in stores during the Spring and Summer months, pool noodles are a great addition to your Summer occupational therapy activities.

      Pool noodles are a versatile toy that can be cut, divided, and shaped into many tools to benefit children in their skill development, and overall needs. These toys are colorful, inexpensive, and attractive to children, which make them motivating, and facilitates engagement in pool noodle activities created with them.

      This is a gross motor toy you’ll want to add to your therapy toolbox, and we’ll cover why that is below.

      In addition, imagine all of the equipment needs that can be addressed to help with daily living skills using these noodles.  

      Add pool noodles to a few other ideas here on the website for a Summer of fun:

      pool noodle activities

      pool noodles Activities and Games

      Pool noodles can be used by a variety of children, for many needs, and for several purposes.  They can easily be used indoors or outdoors, in the home, the classroom, and therapy room. Pool noodle activities can be used with all ages, and in all environments. That’s right all ages. Maybe not in the conventional manner, but there are many imaginative and thoughtful activities that are fun and safe for anyone!  

      The best part? Pool noodles are cheap, cheap, cheap. They can be more challenging to find, if you look for them off season. My helpful tip to you is to buy them in bulk when they go on clearance at the end of the summer season, and you’ll have them whenever you need them. Sometimes you can even find them on clearance for just a few cents, that’s right, A FEW CENTS! 

      Let’s take a look at some fun, creative pool noodle activity ideas to get kids up, moving, active and a little ‘noodley’ this season! If you do not need them for pool noodle activities, but want some creative tool ideas instead, I’ve got you covered there too. Just scroll down to the bottom of the page, and you’ll find some innovative ideas for equipment and tools. 

      Gross Motor pool noodle activities:

      These gross motor pool noodle ideas offer strategies to support motor planning and body awareness. It is by adding a simple pool noodle to play activities that can offer challenging motor tasks, while encouraging coordination, balance, body awareness, and motor planning skills.  

      make a pool noodle tunnel for obstacle courses and gross motor skills.
      • Pool Noodle Tunnel- Use a few pool noodles down a hallway and create a fun pool noodle tunnel for kiddos to crawl under, take a look here at our blog post Play Tunnel Activities. Use skewer sticks to secure noodles outside, and create a pool noodle hurdles.
      • Pool Noodle Wand- Create a Pool Noodle wand for reaction time, coordination, and balance. All of these skills can be addressed with the simple use of a pool noodle and PVC pipe to create the stick.

      • Pool Noodle Hurdles- We shared how to make pool noodle hurdles in our Family reunion activities post. Simply cut a pool noodle and use paint stirrers to stick small pieces into the ground. Then balance a long pool noodle on top for a balance, coordination, and gross motor activity that kids can step over, jump, or hop over in an obstacle course.
      • Pool Noodle Relay Race- This pool noodle game is great for lawn games, outdoor sensory diets, and family fun. Divide players into teams. Each team has a pool noodle. Players can race to a certain spot and then turn around and pass the noodle to the next player in the line. The first team to get all of their players to run with the pool noodle is the winner. This game can also be played in the swimming pool.
      • Pool Noodle Balance Game- Cut a pool noodle into smaller pieces (about one half of a pool noodle). Each player receives a piece. Balance a ball on top of the pool noodle hole. The players should race across the lawn or room while balancing the ball on their pool noodle. This is also a great addition to an obstacle course while challenging changes in positioning.

      • Balance Beam- A pool noodle is a great way to create a DIY balance beam, which provides balance opportunities, works on core strength, and provides vestibular input to help improve regulation.

      • Wobble Board- Use a pool noodle as a wobble board by adding a platform or boogie board over the noodle. Here’s another great idea for a DIY wobble board.
      • Pool Noodle Limbo- Want to limbo this season? Use a pool noodle for a fun game of limbo at home, or during therapy. Have children perform animal walks under the limbo stick. Easy, simple, effective and FUN! This one allows kids to work on multiple body skills. 
      • Gross Motor Drum Sticks- Use pool noodles as gross motor drum sticks. When you use pool noodles as desk drumsticks, you address core strength, eye-hand coordination, bilateral coordination, and motor planning.  Desk drumsticks can build fitness, and give a quick movement break to the entire class, with very little effort and cost. Now, that’s a winner in my book! To add gamification to this pool noodle idea, add music and play to the music. When the music stops, everyone needs to stop playing. It’s a great auditory processing activity.

      • Pool Noodle Skipping- You can use pool noodles as a tool to teach skipping.

      Here are several more gross motor coordination activities to add to your toolbox. Don’t forget to stock up on gross motor toys when treatment planning.

      Fine Motor activities using pool noodles

      Pool noodles can be used on a small scale, too to work on fine motor skills. Try some of these ideas.

      • Pool noodles and rubber bands – Cut a pool noodle into smaller pieces. Use rubber bands to wrap around the pool noodle. This is an easy fine motor activity that you can create. Learners work on stretching the bands around the noodle, which will provides a fun, but effective fine motor strengthening tool, and a good bilateral coordination activity.
      • Press pipe cleaners into pool noodles- This is another easy, but fun activity to work on important fine motor, and bilateral coordination skills. Slide beads onto the chenille stems (pipe cleaners) to work on threading, or have them string in a specific order to add an opportunity for working on listening and following directions. 
      • Threading activity- Use those same pipe cleaners pressed into the pool noodles and add beads, buttons to place onto the pool noodles. Learners will work on fine motor skills, eye-hand coordination, and finger strengthening with these fun activities. You can also thread pool noodles on a jump rope like we did with this pool noodle sensory bin idea.
      • Pool noodle and pom-pom transfer is just what you are looking for if you need a child to work on tong use, or practice pre-scissor skills using a pair of tongs. Children use tongs to transfer pom-pom balls into the holes of the pool noodle slices. Not only is this for fine motor skill development, but look at the built-in eye hand coordination too!
      • Put a cork in it! is a super fun activity that works on finger strengthening and bilateral coordination, as children will work to twist and push corks into the holes of pool noodle slices. Where do you find corks without having to drink dozens of bottles of wine (which is not terrible). Go to any craft store and they are available for purchase.
      • Pool noodle pom-pom shooter is a fun pool noodle activity that works on fine motor strengthening, as children work to pull the rubber band back to shoot the pom-pom from the pool noodle chunk. It most cases, the farther they pull the rubber band backwards, the farther the pom-pom will go. Set up a target using a laundry basket or box, and see if they can shoot the pom-poms into the target to score points. 
      • Make a creature- Cut a pool noodle into small pieces. Affix or draw monstors or pictures of people or animals onto the pieces. Learners can then mix and match creature blocks with pool noodle chunks to build their own creatures. You can take pictures of completed creatures and have children attempt to copy the picture by stacking the appropriate pool noodle pieces, they work on visual perceptual skills.

      Sensory pool noodle activities:

      • Sensory Bins- Use pool noodles as part of a Pool Noodle Sensory Bin to give the illusion of the ocean, and/or bubbles that you see in the ocean. Children can stack, fill, or squeeze them. 
      • Pool Noodle Boats- How about some pool noodle boats for bathtub time, in a water bin? Take a look at how easy making these pool noodle boats are, and what fun they will be to play with during water playtime. 
      • Letter Scoop Race- Cut a pool noodle into small pieces. Write letters on the outside of each piece. Then, place the noodle pieces into a sensory bin or on a tray. Ask the learner to scoop letters and as fast as they can match upper case letters to lower case letters, or letter to letter. They can stack the matching letters on top of one another to work on fine motor skills.

      Eye-Hand Coordination using pool noodles:

      • Marble Maze- After an adult slices the pool noodles in half, have kiddos work on taping a variety of pool noodle pieces onto the wall with painter’s tape to create a fun Pool Noodle Marble Maze. Kiddos can change it up, making new mazes. It makes for a great STEM activity that builds problem-solving, and eye-hand coordination. This is a great DIY marble run for a visual scanning activity.
      • Pool noodle track- Easily create a visual tracking and bilateral coordination activity with use of a pool noodle circle track which requires a pool noodle sliced in half, taped together in a circle, and a marble inserted for rotating around the track. Making your own race track is a fun and challenging pool noodle activity, as you have to keep the speed of the marble going around the track so it will not fall out. Definitely for higher level learners, but a fun one!
      • Pool noodle batting is a simple activity using pool noodle pieces and a balloon or a beach ball suspended from the ceiling with a string. This provide a great opportunity to work on eye-hand coordination, upper extremity strengthening, and range of motion. 
      • Javelin Throw– Use pool noodles to create a pool noodle javelin throw activity to work on visual motor skills as children throw a pool noodle javelin through a circled pool noodle suspended from the ceiling.  
      • Pool Noodle Bowling- In this bowling game all you have to do is cut pool noodles into equal sized pieces, and you have a set of bowling pins! Anyone can use a set of simple bowling pins for a fun eye-hand coordination activity. You can use pool noodle slices stacked into a pyramid shape for the same purpose!

      Here are some outdoor fun lawn games to round out your activity plan.

      Pool noodle Tools or equipment Ideas: 

      Everything listed here is all about tools, adaptations, apparatus, or simple equipment ideas to children at home or school. Take a peek, and see if any of these ideas can help your learners. 

      • Pool Noodle Card Holder- Know a child that has a hard time grasping and holding a set of cards? Make this great pool noodle card holder just for them! It can be used in the classroom, during therapy, and at home. Have a child that cannot hold cards, but needs to see them? Try this quick hands-free card holder adaptation. 
      • Pool Noodle Adapted Seat- Maybe you need a pool noodle seat for a kiddo that has difficulty knowing where their seat ends due to poor body awareness.  If so, this simple pool noodle seat will give them the physical cue they need to help with body awareness and balance within a chair. You know that one kiddo who frequently falls out of their chair? Try this and see if it helps! Here are more flexible seating ideas and DIY adapted seating (perfect for pool noodles!)
      • Pool Noodle Feet Positioner- How about a quick feet fix when a kiddos feet do not quite touch the floor, or they need a little movement for their feet while seated. Check out this pool noodle feet positioner.
      • Pool Noodle for High Tone Seating Needs- Sometimes there is that one kiddo that needs a little flexion positioning due to their excessive extension pattern, due to have high tone. Take a look at how to use a simple pool noodle and bungee cord to provide a little buffer for the excessive extension.  
      • Therapy Ball Seat Positioner- If you tape a pool noodle into a circle, you can use it as a pool noodle ball chair by placing the therapy ball on top of the pool noodle to hold in place. Kiddos can still move slightly on it, just not excessively. This makes the ball less distractive, and kept within their personal space at their desk! 

      Summer is fast approaching, run and stock up on pool noodles now. One last thing that I want to remind you about pool noodles, remember to purchase them now, or when they are on clearance at the end of the season! They are just a few cents and you can use them all year long whenever you need them!  

      Regina Allen

      Regina Parsons-Allen is a school-based certified occupational therapy assistant. She has a pediatrics practice area of emphasis from the NBCOT. She graduated from the OTA program at Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute in Hudson, North Carolina with an A.A.S degree in occupational therapy assistant. She has been practicing occupational therapy in the same school district for 20 years. She loves her children, husband, OT, working with children and teaching Sunday school. She is passionate about engaging, empowering, and enabling children to reach their maximum potential in ALL of their occupations as well assuring them that God loves them!

      The terms kids, kiddos, and children are used throughout this post. These pool noodle activities can be used for learners of all ages and developmental levels.