• Hannah OT

#Behind A Sensory Circuit

I hope you're all starting your day with yesterday's sensory circuit! I did it with both girls yesterday, and even my 2yo got involved and seemed to enjoy it!

So who managed to spot the three aspects of the sensory circuit?

The following gives a little more detail in order for you to perhaps make up your own sensory circuit or vary the one that I demonstrated.

Alerting Activities

Aim to provide vestibular and proprioceptive stimulation within a controlled setting. This prepares the brain for learning.

Activities that are typically alerting are in general:

  • Rapidly changing/irregular inputs

  • Quick tempos

  • Music -- lower frequencies will elicit movement

  • (drums), while higher frequencies can engage attention (flutes, singing, cymbals)

  • Cold temperatures (including foods)

  • Light, brushing touch Fast movement, especially spinning/rotational

  • Sour or spicy flavours

  • Fast-moving, bright, unpredictable visuals

  • Being outdoors

  • Using muscles for “heavy work” of pushing, pulling, against resistance (tends to be both alerting and organizing)

Organising Activities

Includes activities that require motor sensory processing, balance and timing. The child needs to organise their body, plan their approach and do more than one thing at a time in a sequential order.

Activities that are typically organising are in general:

  • Rhythmic

  • Use muscles for the “heavy work” of pushing, pulling, against resistance

  • Activities that require motor sensory processing and balance activities that require the child to organise their body, plan their approach and do more than one thing at a time in a sequential order.


Calming activities are very important as they provide input to ensure your child ends the circuit in a calm state ready to go onto the next activity.

Activities that are typically calming are in general:

  • Slow, steady, rhythmic, repeated, predictable input

  • Slow and rhythmic music

  • Firm, steady, pressure touch or squeezing (think massage or a big hug)

  • Using muscles for ‘heavy work’

  • Bland or sweet-tasting flavours

  • Slow-moving, dim, long distance views, deep colours for visuals

  • Neutral warmth

  • Chewing and blowing or breathing out

  • Slow linear movement forward-and-back

Equipment Free Sensory Circuit



Loud claps and taps



Star jumps (Also alerting)


Pushing pairs


Rhythmical tapping

Swooshing and integrated stroke (firm stroke as oppose to light touch)



Tight hug

Log-in tomorrow for a more detailed look at self-regulation and what it means to be under or over aroused.

Hannah OT:-)

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