Emerge a Child’s Place

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These are a Few of Our Favorite Things

Looking for items to enhance your child’s sensory processing and motor development. Here are some of the items we find ourselves turning to over and over again, both in the clinic and recommending for parents to have at home.

Tactile: Theraputty and many variants: You can buy or make your own. Great for hiding things in for child to find. $6-10.

Instant Sno: Add water to a small amount of powder and the powder instantly erupts into a fluffy cool pile of artificial snow. Amazon. $4-10.

Body Sox: This is a Lycra rectangle that completely encompases your child (or you can leave head sticking out. Provides touch pressure input. Great for body awareness, and often calming and organizing. We have had children use this for sensory breaks in school, as well as at home. Some children like to be still inside the Body Sox, while others love rolling, crawling or walking about in the Body Sox.

Lentil Bin: Of all the sensory bins, lentils are my favorite, because of their soft, silky nature.

Oral: Pen Suspender: This has been a very popular and inexpensive chewy necklace for many for the children we work with. I feel like any child who chews on their hands or clothing should be provided with an alternative and this is a great one.(PDP Products) $2.

BloPens: Nice calming, organizing oral activity that is appropriate for older children. Pictures are created by blowing through special paint ‘pen’ to create a picture with or without stencils. (Amazon) $10-20.

Vestibular/Proprioceptive: Egg Chair: This cozy egg shaped chair includes a pull down cover and can be spun. (Spinning is an intense sensory input and is best done under the child’s control or the direction of an OT.) (Ikea) $80.

Sonic Scooterboard: We recently added these at our therapy office and they have been a big hit especially with larger children as we can connect 2 or 3 together. (Fun and Function) $31.

Gross Motor: Fisher-Price Bounce & Spin Zebra: Great ride on toy from children about 12-36+ months. Provides vestibular input promotes balance reactions. Fun. About $40.

Gymnic Hop Ball: Hoppity balls provide vigorous vestibular/proprioceptive input and develop balance, strength and endurance. The Gymnic line includes sizes to fit a wide variety of children. The largest can even be used by an adult. These can be used inside or out. One young man we work with hops around the block, at his home, as part of his sensory diet $25-40.

Fine Motor: Squiggly worms: Fun game that involves grabbing worms as they pop up out of apple. No batteries required. Easy to grade game up or down. For greater challenge, try catching worms with strawberry huller. $10.

Mancala: Good game for developing in-hand manipulation skills (dexterity) with older children. Comes in a variety of forms. $10-20.

String Along Lacing Kit: Very fun punch lace activity. Create your own design or copy one of the patterns. Reinforces mature grip and eye-hand coordination. $16-20.


Webdesign said…

Thanks for letting us know that impression of favorite things. I kinda like this crucial input though you expressed much better. Keep it up

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Alejandro said…

Thanks! its always nice to hear back from folks. Especially folks who get it. wink Your other email had a funny rtreun address, and it bounced… but yeah, we have one that appears to be actively sabotaging us. I wonder why people bother. It would be a lot less work to just let him have a piece of gum now and again. Yeah, we’re still leaning on that New Hope stuff being quack quack quack. Joey’s OT does a lot with vestibular stuff, and it all seems a lot more useful to have the variety of activities rather than just being moved as if he was going up and down hills all the time. He gets carsick, after all. raspberry Joey has been doing a lot of singing lately. He learned to talk by echoing TV shows, like Oobi and Little Bear, and in fact, most of his speech is an elaborate scripting. He kind of reminds me of Mrs. Who in A Wrinkle in Time- he has trouble verbalizing, and quoting is so much easier. For the sensory stuff, we’ve put together little picture-books of the different stuff that is available, and then he can pick what he needs. At school, they have gum (despite the OT there), a couple different vibrators, a therapy ball, a ball pit, and a trampoline, and he has a picture of each of them. He can then flip through the book and pick what he wants. We’re a little concerned that teh teacher isn’t teaching him tio use it, just handing it to him (so he just picks whatever is first right now), but we’ll get there. At home, we have a bean pit instead of a ball pool, and his heavy blanket in addition to the other stuff. He usually picks gum. wink Hope you little ones are going great today!(removed and reposted to correct massive typos)Amanda

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Seed Bank said…

All of the stimulating activities are great for children with Autism correct?  I’ve heard that learning in these setting can help improve their interaction with other people.  Is there a data bank or blog post that would support my opinion?

Bonnie Hacker said…

It depends on the child and the situation. Some children are easily overwhelmed and need activities that are more calming and organizing, rather than stimulating.

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