When Elizabeth was young, about three or four years old, I had made a basket of activities for her. The basket contained many items that we used to help her fine motor work, helping her cross mid-line, count and identify colors.

There was a piggy bank for her to put pennies in, there was THERAPUTTY with beads in it to encourage her finger strength, there were these big plastic nuts and bolts to encourage motor planning and wrist strength among many other things. I would change them around as I was guided by the OT because as we all know, their sensory diets change as do their motor and sensory needs.

I think what made something better than another for Elizabeth was when she liked the therapy tool or toy we were working with. And this was way back in the late 90’s, so the options for special needs children were not as great as they are today. (I know, I just made myself sound old!)

But my point is, there are so many great therapy tools available that would really be fun and enjoyable for your special needs child to play with or for you assist in playing. Items that can help your child work on strengthening fine motor, oral motor and other gross  motor skills, but are fun. In my experience, this is the ticket to success!

So the sensory toy I have to talk about today looks innocent enough in its prettiness. But look at it again and I can see the great possibilities it can serve for a therapy tool.

It is called Build-A –Bouquet. And right away it looks inviting because it looks easy to play with and trust me, this can be the biggest thing because with sensory issues, loud or overwhelming toys can become an instant no.

So what I see is this eco-friendly toy has 44 pieces. They consist of the parts of flowers: the leaves, the petals and the inner part of a flower. The flowers, lilies, petunias and daisies, come in yellow, pink or purple colors. And instead of a vase, there is a flower bed that has a winding shape to it.

No noises, batteries, switches or really small parts!

Right away I know how great this would be for color identification. Even if it is only to separate them into piles. And then progressing to making a line of purple ones, then yellow and then pink.

The flowers have a nice solid feel to them, so that they will be easy to maneuver. They are very slightly textured which again, helps with holding them.

Putting the flower stems into the flower bed will work on eye-hand coordination as well as fine motor control. Then comes the fun of picking the colors of flower and inner part of the flower to use. This is the part that will build creativity but also keep working on fine motor skills. You can even put the flowers on one side of the table and the flower bed on the other to encourage your child to cross mid-line. The pretty flowers that are the result are a fantastic motivator! 

The thing I loved is that putting the flower bed together will encourage them to use both hands at the same time and working on wrist strength and motor planning to get the pieces to fit. But again the pieces are nice and big so that encourages success.

Being a lover of the pastel colors of these flowers, I know Elizabeth would have loved this to be added to her “work” basket. And this can hold true to any sensory bin that you might have.

So if you have a thought that this is something you might like use for your child, please visit our site to read more.

And again, for my planet saving, recycle everything you can daughter, this toy is made from recycled milk  jugs!

 

I wish everyone a peaceful week!

Michele Gianetti

Author of “I Believe In You: A Mother and Daughter’s Special Journey” and “Emily’s Sister”

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