Build a Sensory Wall in your School
Ever heard a teacher say, "Please don't touch the walls"? We say, "Go ahead! Touch the walls!"
Have you ever seen a child walking past a picket fence with a stick? You can pretty much guarantee that the child will run that stick along the fence and listen to the sound it makes as it hits each post. This is because children take in the world through their senses. It’s not enough to just see the fence, they also want to feel it and hear it. And our brains are designed that way! We take in experiences and memories through all of our senses.
Now think about the typical elementary school. It’s pretty typical to see students in line in an elementary school running their hands along the walls as they walk. But it’s just as typical for a teacher to say something along the lines of, “Keep your hands to yourself” or “Please don’t touch the walls”.
But why can’t they touch the walls? Walls aren’t going to hurt a child. And when you think about how a brain is wired, it makes even more sense to allow them to use their senses to take in the world around them. Tactile experiences, like touching the wall, activate brain development. This is the kind of behavior we should be encouraging!