Why we love Sensory Kete

Stimulating our senses helps calm us down. When we tune into the things we touch and see, we have to notice & focus, which can help to calm and distract us from any swirling thoughts or emotions.

This activity is about creating a unique Sensory Kete (kit) that your child can turn to when they need to feel calmer. These are great for children to keep in their school bag incase they need it at school, or if your child is transitioning from preschool to school or primary school to intermediate, sensory kete can really help create a connection between the old (familiar) and new.

The best sensory kete are unique to your child so we’d suggest putting this together with them and exploring how to use each item.

Things that we know kids love in their Sensory Kete (you and your child can decide on the things they would like to include):

  • Photos or favourite pictures from magazines
  • Cotton wool dabbed with in a calming oil (e.g. lavender) or your perfume, aftershave
  • A small toy or book
  • A ziplock bag with puzzle pieces
  • A quiet activity they enjoy – drawing, colouring, word finds
  • Bubbles for blowing
  • And any other little things that help them ‘come back into the present’
  • You could also head to Sparklers and try making a Glitter Timer or aSmiley Stress Ball.

What to do

  • Let your child know that using our senses can help soothe us when we’re upset, and boost the way we feel.
  • Explain that they’ll be able to use their Sensory Kete to relax, have fun and feel good. Then spend some time helping your child to piece their kete together.
  • Talk about the times they might use their kete and choose a place for it to be kept for ready access.
  • Practise using the kete and when times get tricky and emotions are beginning to amp up, remind your child of it.

Ways to use Sensory Kete everyday

  • Read Invisible String by Patrice Karst – a fantastic book reminding children that even when they’re not with you, there’s an invisible string that keeps them connected.
  • Keep talking about our feelings and emotions, and ways to manage them if they're big or feel yuck
    - you can model this with tummy breathing, taking yourself away from situation for a bit. This normalises emotions for our kids. Because they emotions are very normal!
  • Remind your child that their Sensory Kete is there if they need it - make it normal too, not just fr times when things have become very challenging! Oh, and praise them when they do.