Helena Elementary School creates sensory path for students

FROM STAFF REPORTS

HELENA – Helena Elementary School has created a sensory path that includes activities for students with difficulties with fine motor skills, sensory processing and behavioral issues for the 2019-2020 school year. The path promotes confidence, independence and improved motor skills.

The path was created by placing laser-cut, colored tile flooring on a hallway that primarily serves the special education population and includes activities that build hand-eye coordination, motor development and sensory processing. Examples include lily pad jumping, “balance beam” paths and letters and numbers. The path is also designed to complement the school’s motto: “Big Dreams, Bright Future.”

The activities require focus, concentration and gross and fine motor body movement to accomplish. The challenging body movements also require students to coordinate their mind and body and can be used as both a motivation for positive behavior and also as a sensory break as needed.

“This project has already generated so much positive support from the faculty at our school,” HES Principal Jeff Norris said. “After finding out about the idea, several teachers gave input and brainstormed specific activities that meet the sensory needs of several of our students. Making this is a permanent fixture in our hallway means that years from now, students will still be able to use the pathway.”

Norris said the path was funded by the Helena Elementary PTO and the city of Helena.