Monday, December 11, 2017

DIY Sensory Tools / Fidgets

 Weighted 'Beanie' Bag Cushion 
Some kids with sensory issues seek deep pressure input. Providing a weighted cushion they can carry, hold, or lay on their laps may help give them the input they're seeking and may also help calm and regulate them. When I saw this awesome R2-D2 beanie, I couldn't resist attempting to make my own weighted cushion-- it way easier than I expected and I love the way it turned out!


Directions: Fill a beanie with a sack of rice. I used another zip lock bag for extra protection to prevent spillage. Simply stick in the rice and sew up the beanie. And there you have your own 'beanie' bag cushion!




Materials used:
- A beanie hat ($3 from Target)
- A sack of rice (2lbs $1 from Dollar Tree)
- A needle and thread
Target had TONS of cool beanies for $3 at the dollar section. Amazing.






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Bungee Cord Foot Fidget
Some kids have a hard time sitting still and frequently tap their feet or kick in their chairs. I found a simple and affordable fix to this problem- using bungee cord!
Directions: Simply hook the bungee cord onto the foot of a chair or desk and allow the student to kick and press their legs into the cord. This provides deep pressure input to their feet and legs and allows movement but in a quiet and less distracting way.

Materials used
:
- 6 pack of bungee cords for $1.49 at a local grocery store (I also saw a $1 six pack at Dollar tree)
- You can also use theraband to tie around the bottom of chairs/desks, but bungee cord is a more affordable and accesible material easy to find in stores



Note: The bungee cords will stretch over time. Be careful of sharp edges on the hooks. The ones I found had rubber stoppers that softened the edges.  Otherwise, ensure safety of the bungee cords before using.

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'Sensory' Toys in Stores
Some kids are 'tactile sensory seekers'  meaning they often can't keep their hands still or always seem to want to get their hands on everything! These types of children might have difficulty in school because they are constantly grabbing objects, touching others, or moving their hands.

Sensory toys can be a good solution for this touchy situation!
A tactile sensory toy is basically an object that the child can touch, feel, pull, squish, or manipulate in their hands. You can make your own 'sensory toy' from common toys/objects found in many stores today. Here are a few that I found!

Pictured above:
- Rubber squishy animals - $1 Dollar Tree
- Koosh balls - $3 A.C. Moore
- Putty - $3 Target  

On some therapy websites, sensory toys can cost up to $15 dollars. So next time you're strolling through target or the dollar store, you can definitely come across some potential sensory toys at an affordable price! 



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