Children who have sensory differences (like tactile defensiveness, auditory defensiveness, oral defensiveness, etc.) sometimes tune out or go into "sensory overload / sensory shutdown" mode when their nervous systems become overloaded. 

Bright lights, light touch, smells, classroom noises, people talking too loud or too fast, not allowing adequate or extra time for a child to process visual or auditory information, an overstimulating environment (that has too many things on the walls or hanging from the ceiling), etc. – can independently or in combination result in a child "shutting down."  The child may just stand still and stare, become agitated, or may find a way to physically retreat to a quiet or less stimulating area (perhaps just by putting their head down or going to the coat area). 

Below are 10 favorite "calming" classroom tools selected by teachers!  Many of these products can be especially helpful for children who have sensory differences, autism spectrum disorders, ADD or ADHD, Tourette Syndrome and other conditions in which sensory issues are common. 

*Updated November 2023


1. Classroom Light Filters

light filter


2. Pressure Vests and Deep Pressure Compression Belts

boy pressure vest gold thinking putty3pressure belt cropped


3. Weighted Tools:  Weighted Vests, Weighted Lap Pads with Fleece Covers, and Weighted Shoulder Wraps

smaller vest pic smaller file lap padsgalaxy shoulder wrap cropped

4. Self Calming Cards

 self calming cards cropped

5. Spiky Deep Pressure Sensory Rolling Pin, Totable Sensory Rollers or our Deep Pressure Sensory Rolling Pin


totable sensory roller tactile deep pressure therapy shoppe

6. Fidgeting Foot Bands™

fidgeting foot bands pic

7. Chewy Pencil Toppers like Topperz Chewy Pencil Topper Tubes or Brick Chewy Pencil Toppery Pencil Topper

 chewy tubes cropped pencil top   brick chewy pencil topper

8. Sensory Seekers Fidget Kit™

sensory seeker fidget kit

9. Thinking Putty

 girl under sea thinking putty fidget


10. Balance/Seating Disc Combo

new balance seating disc


More articles you might enjoy:

Creating a Back-to-School Supplies Shopping List for Learners with Unique Needs

22 Soothing Sensory Tools That Can Help Alleviate Anxiety

The Benefits of Sensory Seating in Classrooms

Anxiety in the Classroom

Creating Sensory-Friendly Spaces: Designing Classrooms to Support All Students