Sensory Strategies & The Brain: Promoting Self-Regulation & Learning

Have you heard of sensory processing? Did you know that we have more than just 5 senses?  Did you know that we can transform some challenging behaviors by using simple strategies to support a child’s sensory needs? If you are interested in learning more, read on and join us for our upcoming live training, Sensory Strategies and the Brain: Promoting Self-Regulation and Learning on January 25th from 9:00 – 11:00am PST.

Kids (and adults too!) learn and participate best when they are regulated. Can you think of a time when you felt anxious or dysregulated? Whether you realized it or not, you probably used sensory strategies to help yourself regulate. Maybe you took some deep breaths to slow your heart rate and calm down. Or maybe you tapped your foot on the floor or your fingers on the table to get out some of the nervous energy. Just as we can impact our own arousal level and regulation by using sensory strategies, early childhood educators can also learn to identify a child’s sensory needs and use strategies to support them in getting back to this “just right” level of arousal. We can use sensory strategies to help a child regulate once they have already become dysregulated and we can also use sensory strategies proactively to get a whole classroom of children regulated and ready to learn.
We each have unique sensory systems that have different needs and preferences. Some children are less sensitive in some of the senses, meaning they are likely to seek out more sensory input with their behaviors. Other children are more sensitive, and we may see them avoiding sensory input with their behaviors. And some children may be sensory seeking in some senses and avoiding in others! When we realize that we actually have eight senses (not just the five senses we’re all familiar with!) it can seem daunting to try to understand all of the sensory needs of the children we work with to identify the right sensory strategies to help them regulate. With IMPACT’s Sensory Strategies and the Brain course you get a Sensory Matrix template that makes 
it simple to identify and understand the sensory needs of children you work with. Through case studies you’ll learn how to use this tool and how it can help you support regulation and learning for children who often become dysregulated.

Did you know that most kids are kinesthetic learners? This means they learn best by moving and by doing. As early childhood educators, we need to harness the power of movement and sensory experiences to promote self-regulation and set the stage for learning. If we want kids to be regulated and ready to learn the valuable lessons we are trying to teach them at school, we need to incorporate sensory stimuli and movement into everything we do during the day. Join us for our live training to learn how to identify a child’s sensory needs, effective strategies to support regulation, and powerful brain-based strategies to promote brain-body connection and the development of self-regulation skills.

Are you unable to join us for the live training on January 25th? This content is always available through our online on-demand course as well, which you can access anytime here. And if you’re interested in expanding the sensory activities you offer in your classroom, you can also check out our other course, Beyond The Sensory Table: Classroom Strategies for Sensory Play. This course includes over 50 fun sensory activities to
do with your class, tons of information on how the senses develop in utero, infancy, and early childhood, and how early childhood educators can support the development of each of the eight senses in the classroom.

- NWC IMPACT Team