Friday, 18 August 2017

Sensory Trays

Every classroom is a snapshot of society. When you read or a hear a statistic, x% of kids are y, those kids are present in every school, in every class. Any person who has cause to work with large groups of people will know the same to be true.

Every class contains students with diverse learning needs, and in my class I'm lucky enough to work with an aide who helps run and individualized program for some of my class members. Scrolling through Pinterest she found some interesting activities that make use of sensory trays. Sensory based activities are great for students with a range of learning needs, but seem to be most commonly used with students on the autism spectrum. We had a look around at educational suppliers who sold sensory trays, but like anything for a wedding, anything for a classroom magically costs a significant amount of money.

With the prospect of purchasing a collection of Sensory Trays unlikely I thought, 'What the hell, I'll just make some'. To be honest, they probably ended up costing a not insignificant amount, though I did make 8 of them.

I used 40mm x 10mm stripping for the edges, and 3mm MDF for the base. The trays are roughly 450mm x 300 mm. The stripping was glued and screwed in place, and sanded back. I also used a wood burner to label them. Lastly, they were finished with 4 coats of marine grade polyurethane varnish. In retrospect I would have done a few things differently, but I had fun putting them together and now have a collection I can use at school and a couple I can keep at home for my kids to play with.

Since I enjoyed making these I think my next project will be to make some sensory boards... should be good fun.

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