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Music therapy: sensory fidget tools

Many children and adults need movement and sensory input to fully engage their brains for learning. Some people may knit to help them focus, doodle in class, or bob a pen up and down in a meeting. Others might walk a mile in loops around their kitchen while on a phone call. These types of activities allow their brains to focus, listen and learn.

In a setting where children must remain seated and focused, small fidget tools can provide the sensory input and movement some children need for their best learning. I will list some of my favorites at the bottom however want to share one that really surprised me. In my quest to find inexpensive and easily washed sensory fidget tools (I work with 60 children each week) I came across a post about cutting up a pool noodle. I had my doubts but knowing I could probably make about 30+ from one .99 cent noodle I figured it was worth a shot. I bought a skinny pool noodle (smaller than the standard size) and found it quite easy to slice up with a bread knife. Each piece is about 2-3 inches. The pool noodles were a hit with many students and are easy to hold on to, quiet, won't hurt if they get thrown, easily replaced, and easily washed! I was immediately surprised by their effectiveness and recommend this to anyone looking for sensory fidgets in bulk!

***Safety note: Pool noodles would not be an appropriate fidget for someone who may put them in their mouth as pieces can be bit off fairly easily and would present a choking hazard.

Everyones sensory and movement needs are different and a favorite focusing tool of one may not be the favorite of another. Others may not require a fidget tool at all. If you're looking for some are a few favorites. Please note again some of these have small pieces and would not be appropriate for individuals who may put objects in their mouths. There are several great oral sensory tools out there that are made to be chewed on, I will list a couple!

Click the photo for its link on

Tangle Jr.

Wacky Tracks
Sensory Chew
Spiky ball

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