This Ultimate List of Multisensory Ideas for Homeschool will help you and your child throughout the school year!
Read through to the end and get a printable list!
When I first started my homeschool journey, I had no idea the learning curve in front of me. I was a not a mom who planned on homeschooling. I had work plans, not lesson plans. When I realized my son had dyslexia, along with his dysgraphia, I set out on a journey, even though I was racing to ‘get it all in’ so he wouldn’t be more behind. Working with occupational therapists over several years, I did pick up quite a bit. I learned my my son was a kinesthetic and tactical learner. What I had to learn was how he learned in a multisensory way. Working with his certified dyslexia specialist and Wilson tutor for over 2 years at A Kid’s Choice, helped me develop some concrete tools in incorporate at home. I have also enlisted the help of my friend, Colby over at Special Inspirations, who is also a dyslexia specialist.
First, let’s go over what multisensory learning means for your child. Multisensory learning is a teaching style that incorporates more than one of the senses. They are composed of visual, tactile, auditory, and kinesthetic methods. It helps struggling kids grasp and retain concepts by making connections. Any child who struggles with learning a concept can use a multisensory method to aid in learning. For dyslexics, it’s the core of learning. While this list is a snapshot of the hundreds of ways you can bring multisensory learning into your home, I am going to give you my favorites so you can start building your own multisensory homeschool space.
Colby suggests keeping note cards on hand. You can cut them apart to for syllables or separate basewords from suffixes. She also has students write each phoneme (sound) on a separate notecard and then have them tell you how many phonemes (sounds) are in that word. Another great idea is to use notecards to tap out the sounds using stickers, like shown below.
PlayDoh and Bendaroos
Dawn Coker, dyslexia therapist for A Kid’s Choice, recommends using PlayDoh for math, as well as making maps. She suggests using rolling up PlayDoh into balls for addition and subtraction. She also uses it with to make maps when studying geography or history because it makes a great tactile experience. Colby from Special Inspirations uses them for letter and word formation. I also enjoy using Bendaroos for word and letter formation.
Magnetic Letters and Numbers
Magnetic letters and numbers come in handy when you need a visual and tactile way to teach reading or do math. You can find word work mats on Teachers Pay Teachers, but one of my favorite places to find resources is This Reading Mama. I love her free Welded Sounds Spelling Mats.
Dry Erase Boards and Chalkboards
We spend a lot of time using our dry erase board and chalkboard. Both of these come in handy for math, phonics, and drawings. We use these for vocabulary by segmenting it into 4 sections and utilizing the Frayer Model. The Frayer Model is a graphic organizer for vocabulary that lets the student put the word in the middle and then they describe the word in one quadrant, describe it’s characteristics in the 2nd quadrant, draw or give an example in the 3rd quadrant, and give or draw a non example in the 4th quadrant. We also use the color coded markers quite frequently in with word work or math.
Dice and Dominoes
I absolutely love using dice and dominoes in math. I found the Math Dice to use for games and place value. Each color represents ones, tens, hundreds, and thousands. Dominos and dice are also perfect for addition, subtraction, and multiplication.
Dry Erase Blocks
These are a fun resource because you can use them for any subject. You can also use them with colored dry erase markers to make them even more visually appealing.
Hands on Tiles and Color Blocks
We are starting fractions this year, and I am excited to use these color coded magnetic fraction tiles. It will make learning fractions so much easier! The color cubes can be used for just about anything in math.
Sand, Shaving Cream, or Gel Bags
Colorful Flash Cards
Anything visual and color coded is helpful to kids with struggling learners.
Legos are great to use with syllable division or math. We also use them for Language Arts to link nouns, verbs, and adjectives. Your kids can come up with some pretty amazing ideas if you ask.
Clothes Pins and Colored Craft Sticks
Colored Craft Sticks can be used for place value or build a simple sentence house to teach about grammar. We also use them to keep our place when reading or tap them when breaking down words into syllables. I have even seen people use them for STEM activities or as story sticks.
Pipe Cleaners and Beads
Pipe Cleaners can be used like the Bendaroos or you can use them as an abacus for math with the beads. Beads can also be used separately for math or making letters.
I adore sandpaper letters. We used them for learning letters and sounds and now we use them for learning cursive handwriting! It’s such a great tool!
Glue and Scissors
Tempera Paint in various colors
Colored Marker Crayons
Now that you have all the tools, you can throw them in a bin! That way, it’s all in one place and makes lesson planning a breeze!
I hope this list has helped inspire you to make a multisensory bin in your home! I made one and it’s been the lifeboat of my homeschool this year! If you need a cheat sheet, you can print it off by clicking The Ultimate List of Multisensory Ideas for Homeschool.
Do you have any more ideas, comment below! If you want to keep up with more of my homeschool and dyslexia posts, be sure to subscribe to the newsletter!
Author: Betsy Ramirez
Betsy is a registered dietitian/nutritionist, homeschool mom, & fairy tale junkie, who loves getting crafty. Being on my bike and lifting weights are my therapy. Thinking outside the box is my jam!