We’re back with another sensory tool to add to your toolbelt: Winter Sensory Stations to print off, hang on the wall, and help kids focus and get the sensory input they need. Add these winter themed movement activities to our other seasonal sensory station or sensory path tools:
If you’re a teacher, therapy provider, or a parent, you might know the impact that wiggly, fidgety kids have on focusing and completing daily tasks. That’s where this set of winter themed sensory station printables come in.
Winter Sensory stations
These winter sensory stations are designed to incorporate a winter theme into sensory motor movement. You’ve probably seen pricy sensory walks in schools or hallways. The movement-based sensory path is a great way to get kids moving and following directions to complete gross motor movement activities.
But what if you don’t have the funds available to purchase a full sensory path kit?
Grab the kit below for free!
How to Use these Winter sensory stations
That’s where these free winter sensory station printables come into play. You can grab them below…and then print them off, slip them into a page protector or laminate them. Then, hang them in a school hallway, a therapy clinic, or a home. Kids can complete these winter sensory activities to add movement breaks or gain other sensory benefits.
Use these sensory motor stations to address a few needs:
- Use as a winter brain break
- Use them in between learning activities
- Use them during transitions to help with focus and attention
- Use them in a sensory diet to incorporate proprioceptive input or vestibular input
- Use the sensory stations to develop gross motor skills like coordination, strength, and motor planning
- Use the winter sensory stations when outdoor play may be limited due to cold temperatures or freezing weather
- Add the sensory stations as a movement break in between other activities in the home, classroom, or therapy session.
What’s included in the Winter Sensory stations
In these winter sensory path stations, you’ll find similar movements and mindfulness activities, similar to our other sensory station activities. However, these winter themed activities have a few differences, too. These are great ways for kids to recognize tools that they can use all year long to help them attend AND address self-regulation needs.
- First, you’ll find a deep breathing figure 8 with a frosty wind and snow theme. This deep breathing activity incorporates the visual sense as kids scan the figure eight. They can follow the directions on the sensory station task to breathe deeply as they follow the arrows on the figure eight. This deep breathing activity can also incorporate crossing midline and eye-hand coordination skills. Use the figure eight deep breathing task to help kids calm down or regulate emotions or behaviors.
- Penguin Waddle- Next, you’ll see a penguin waddle activity. This gross motor activity incorporates proprioceptive input and allows kids to challenge motor planning and direction following. They can waddle down the hallway or in a circle. The activity is open-ended to be used in any setting or physical layout. Ask kids to complete the task as they build balance and coordination skills.
- Snowball Wall Push-Ups- The next activity is a wall push-up task with a snowball theme. Kids can place their hands against the handprint images and complete wall push-ups against a wall surface. This heavy work activity provides proprioceptive input through the shoulders, core, and whole upper extremity. This is not only a great strengthening activity, but it can be calming to help regulate emotional needs or sensory needs.
- Stand on one leg like an ice skater- The next activity is a balance and coordination task that challenges balance and position in space. The vestibular sense and proprioceptive sense are engaged as the child attempts to maintain balance one one leg. Ask them to do one leg and then to stand on the other leg. You can incorporate other movements too, like loving the arms or reaching and holding a position to further challenge balance, coordination, and motor planning skills.
- Finally there is a snowflake themed spiral deep breathing activity. Ask the child to follow the spiral image with their finger tip or eyes and deeply breath in and out. This deep breathing exercise has many benefits that calm and engage the child.
Each of these winter sensory station activities can be calming tools to use this whole winter season.
Then, when you are finished with the winter sensory path, do a winter crossword puzzle to bring in focus to the table top with focused work. It’s a great segue from whole body to fine motor.
Free Winter Sensory Station Printables
Want to add these sensory stations to your clinic, classroom, or home this winter season? Enter your email address into the form below to access these resources. NOTE that this printable is available inside our Member’s Club. If you are member, log into your account and easily download the file there…as well as hundreds of other printable resources. If you’re not a Member’s Club member, you’ll want to check it out!
Colleen Beck, OTR/L has been an occupational therapist since 2000, working in school-based, hand therapy, outpatient peds, EI, and SNF. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. Read her story about going from an OT making $3/hour (after paying for kids’ childcare) to a full-time OT resource creator for millions of readers. Want to collaborate? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
What if you had themed, NO-PREP activities designed to collect data and can help kids build essential fine motor skills?
Take back your time and start the year off with a bang with these done-for-you fine motor plans to help kids form stronger hands with our Winter Fine Motor Kit. This print-and-go winter fine motor kit includes no-prep fine motor activities to help kids develop functional grasp, dexterity, strength, and endurance. Use fun, winter-themed, fine motor activities so you can help children develop strong fine motor skills in a digital world.
The Winter Fine Motor Kit includes reproducible activity pages include: pencil control strips, scissor skills strips, simple and complex cutting shapes, lacing cards, toothpick precision art, crumble hand strengthening crafts, memory cards, coloring activities, and so much more.