Sensory Obstacle Courses

A huge component of my classroom is behavior management.  I have found that integrating sensory activities can greatly reduce behaviors in my classroom.  While we do the common sensory activities daily, I am OBSESSED with sensory obstacle courses.  It's just a fun way of utilizing our sensory tools to build teamwork, following direction skills, and to get our wiggles out.  So, what is a sensory obstacle course?  It's a race/speedy way of gaining the very much needed sensory input.

My staff and I will typically do sensory obstacle courses after lunch on days where it is NEEDED.  It is also a great rainy day activity :)  I will usually move the desks over as much as possible so that the students have room to play safely.  Staff help lead the students to cheer on the student who is going through the obstacle course at that time.  The louder and more engaged the students are the more fun we end up having!  Obstacle courses can range from 3 challenges to 10.  There are no rules and you can make do in any classroom.  I've even done them outside on a nice sunny day!

How to set up an obstacle course:
1.  Move desks/clear space
2.  Lay out organize sensory tools
3.  Have students sit on a spot out of the way to cheer on the contestants
4.  Write a list/schedule/order of the challenges the students will need to do (I just put it on the white board)
5.  Have a staff member (YES we have fun with it too....) model the obstacle course and show the students each task.
6.  Pick the first student to go and use a timer.  The timer I have found helps to get students excited.
7.  Allow each student a chance to complete the obstacle course.

I make a big emphasis that speed is not always the winner.  I look for skill, effort, attitude, speed, and entertainment.  Each time we do the obstacle course I choose a different way of picking the winner so that students don't get discouraged.  I also do it in a way so that everyone gets to win :)

Here are a few sample sensory obstacle courses we have done in the past:

I would LOVE to see how you set up obstacle courses in your classroom.  Please share pictures on my Facebook or Instagram page of how you do an obstacle course.

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