by Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer,

Director, Whole Community Inclusion

This past summer, we piloted a new tool to make our jkidphilly summer music series more inclusive–a sensory box. We know that for some children with noise sensitivity, attending any music concert–even an outdoor, acoustic one–could feel too loud and uncomfortable. We also know that some kids can pay attention and regulate emotions and activity better while holding tactile materials. So voila–we ordered some noise-cancelling headphones and various quiet fidgets and took our sensory box to each of our summer concerts. The box was introduced at the beginning of each program and children came to explore it as needed–with several children using the headphones throughout the live music portion of the program.

Using the quiet fidgets.

The box was fairly inexpensive to create and could be a helpful tool to create a more inclusive environment in your school, sanctuary or other Jewish program. To get started, you may want to include:

  1. Noise-cancelling headphones
  2. Quiet fidgets
  3. Sensory putty
  4. Lacing beads
  5. Weighted fidget pad or bean bag

Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer directs Whole Community Inclusion. She’s always here to talk with you about inclusion and accessibility!