Common sensory activities - initial research paper
by Oren Steinberg
Common sensory activities
The main goal of SensoryTreat is to help parents and OTs cope with the
overwhelming challenge of sensory therapy carryover. With this in mind we
launched the SensoryTreat app with over 100 sensory illustrated activities. The app
empowers OTs and parents to build a daily schedule by choosing activities from this
list, or adding their own pictures/videos.
We believe that understanding the choices parents and OTs are making around
which activities to include in their sensory diets can help create more effective
This is an initial summary of the data collected from 415 different users, making a
total of 995 choices of scheduled activities to be included in each of their daily
sensory schedules, during the period of March-May 2014.
The illustrated activities are grouped and color coded into 5 categories according
to sensory systems, plus 6th “add-your-own” category. The graph below shows the
frequency of each category in the sensory daily schedules of users: Image
Each category includes between 4-8 different activity names, and each activity
name includes between 2-7 different illustrated variations. This classification
enables OTs to structure a sensory diet according to sensory system (i.e. category)
and even recommend specific activities. While empowering parents to find
alternatives for each activity within the category’s scope, according to what the
environment enables and their child collaborates with, at any given time.
The table on the right shows the top10 most
common activity names. Activities are ranked
according to users’ choice of incorporating an
activity into their daily sensory schedule. The
colors represent the category of each activity:
Add Your Own
1 Deep Touch 92
2 Jumping 73
3 Swinging 69
4 Pulling 60
5 Weight Bearing 58
6 Bear Hug 53
7 Spinning 51
8 Mouth Games 49
9 Chewing 46
10 Squashing 36
* Sum is the total number of times this activity
was included in daily schedules of users.
The data shows that the Deep Pressure category is the most common used
category, from which Deep Touch1
activity is significantly more common than any
other activity selected by users. We can also see that Jumping activity is the only
top10 frequent activity from the Jumping category2
. It is also interesting to see
which activities made it to the top10 out of each category, for example: in Heavy
Work, only Pulling and Weight Bearing made it to the top10 leaving behind activities
such as: Pushing, Carrying, Climbing, Crawling etc. Check our app for all activity
To summarize, this is an initial review of some of the data collected in the last 3
months. It helps shed some light on the choices of activities and categories parents
and OTs make. We believe that understanding the rationale leading to these
choices could help OTs and parents design more effective sensory diet schedules.
Could it have to do with commonality of sensory profiles? OT recommendations?
Ease of execution by parents?
Additional data is being collected that can help improve our understanding around
children’s response to the different activities as well as the impact different
sensory diets schedules have on various functional areas.
We invite researchers who wish to collaborate in interpreting the data and
answering these and other questions.
© All rights reserved to SensoryTreat Ltd. 2014