Movement and Sensory Pathways – How To Create Your OWN!
I’m super excited to share this post with you. Why? You’ve seen them, cool movement paths stuck to the floors of schools and therapy clinics everywhere! Just where did they get the ideas and materials to create the pathways? How can YOU add one to your space?
I was so happy when my friend Danielle Banks, a pediatric OT, was willing to share her pathway with a VIDEO too!
Here are some of the questions I asked Danielle:
–What did you use to make your pathway?
“We used vinyl floor tape for our movement pathway. Our principal was very much on board when I presented the idea for the movement pathway to her in September. We placed the order for the vinyl floor tape through School Specialty, which is where our school purchases a lot of our school supplies. We were able to get 6 rolls of 2-inch tape in blue, green, red, yellow, black, and white.”
I searched Amazon using my affiliate link and found some tape here:
-How much did it cost?
“The 6 rolls of tape cost about $50. I did get an additional roll of checkered duct tape from Amazon, which cost about $6 (but that was not really a necessary part of the course).”
-How did you design your pathway?
“My level II student and I viewed videos and pictures of several other pathways we had seen online in order to compile our list of favorite stations as well as those that would best fit our space. Once we had our stations set, my student drew a map of the space and where each station was to be. We chose a hallway in our school that was accessible to all students but was a bit more out the way so as to not disturb classes when it was being used. My school has two days of student early dismissal for parent-teacher conferences the days before Thanksgiving break. This allowed us to work on the pathway almost all of each day. A template was used for the hexagon to be sure we were creating straight lines. To create the curves, small sections of tape were overlapped. We chose activities us to build gross motor skills, but also incorporated some motor planning and visual motor components as well.”
-How did you teach the staff and students how to use the course?
“Each station has a posted sign which gives an explanation of what to do. We sent the video demonstration to each teacher and aide in the building with directions of the course’s use. We explained that the course can be used as a movement break with the supervision of the teacher and classroom aide.”
-Any interesting information after you were finished with the course?
“We are finding that whole classes are using the course as a movement break, as well as individual students with the aide’s supervision. The hallway gets a lot of recess traffic several times per day. It has not been sealed with wax or varnish to this point in the year. So far it is holding up very well with only a small section that was applied to the rug in front of the door peeling.”
–What is the feedback you’ve gotten so far?
“We have heard nothing but good things from the kids (and adults!) who have used the course. I plan on making another in our 5th/6th-grade wing (which is on the opposite side of the building from the current course) and another for the blacktopped area on the playground.”
Here’s the video Danielle shared with us:
A few last minute tips for you from other therapists who have created movement pathways:
Use permanent (651) vinyl and silicone scraper for smooth application
Request the custodian strip the floor where the movement path will be
Cricut systems work very well for cutting pathways and decals
As as OTD student, I need to provide research to support the use of movement breaks. Most of the articles are available online:
Do you worry that you could be missing something in your approach to therapy? Do you wish you could have a bigger impact in a shorter amount of time? Do you want a step-by-step system that is tested, proven, and supported by evidence?
Many people struggle with sensory processing difficulties. Regulating emotions, knowing when to eat, drink, go to the toilet, and feeling your breathing and heart rate all depend on our internal awareness.