Children and Youth with Sensory Processing Disabilities often do not have the ability to filter our external stimuli (such as loud sounds; bright lights) making outings difficult for both them and their families. In order to support children who may experience sensory sensitivities, Variety – the Children’s Charity has created Sensory Backpacks filled with equipment for self regulation, tactile input, attention focusing tools, and body awareness support items.
The goal of the Sensory Backpacks:
- Manage the sensory bombardment children experience when going on outings.
- Reduce the stress of parents knowing they will have support where they are going.
- Focus on parental cues with having excessive stimuli reduced.
- Reduce the frequency and intensity of behaviours that are often triggered by sensory overload (i.e. arm flapping; yelling; laying on the ground kicking; throwing things etc.).
- Make outings more enjoyable and positive for both the child and their family.
- Increase the likelihood of the child and family participating in more outings from daily routines to fun activities.
What you might find in your Backpack:
The sensory backpack provides space for tactile, auditory, visual, and proprioceptive sensory input – all in one place. The following is a list of items you might find in your backpack.
- Adults/Kids Adjustable Noise Reduction/Hearing Protection Headphones
- Fun and Colorful Fidget Toy Pack – Includes Hearts, Circles & Rectangles
- Fun to Find! Search the Page Paperback
- FITULABO Spiky Sensory Finger Rings
- Infinite Cube Fidget Toy for Sensory Relief
- LeapFrog LeapStart Around Town with PAW Patrol
- JAiiMen Water Bead Stress Relief Ball- Alleviate Anxiety, Tension & Improve Focus
Sign out, and drop off when you’re done, free!
Visitors with children who may have sensory processing disabilities (eg. autism) can pick up a backpack filled with 8-10 sensory tools that they can use while attending a location. Ask at the front desk to check out a sensory backpack! They are available to use at no cost to support a fun experience for your child.
You can find Variety’s Sensory Backpacks at major organizations in area the Greater Toronto Area and Ottawa. Take a look below.
- Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada
- Toronto Zoo
- Ottawa Museum Network
- BWG Leisure Centre
- Let’s Grow Learning & Living Hub
- Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic School
- Market Lane Public School
- Britannia Public School
- City of Barrie
- Scadding Court Community Centre
Find us here!
Ottawa Museum Network
The Toronto Zoo
BWG Leisure Centre
Let's Grow Learning & Living Hub
City of Barrie
Notice: Backpacks are sold out at this time. Please check back for updates and announcements to the program.
Variety is seeking collaborative partners and sponsors to place sensory backpacks in organizations and schools across Ontario.
Our backpacks are also available for purchase for personal use or for school programs. Please have your parent council reach out to us to learn more and reserve one for your school today.
For more information please contact us!
(416) 699-7167 x291
Send us your feedback!
We are always looking for ways to improve and better enhance experiences for our community. Please reach out by contacting the Variety representative above. Enjoy!
The Sensory Backpack Program by Variety – the Children’s Charity of Ontario is made possible
by the Canada Post Community Foundation.