Archives for posts with tag: Gross motor

“Here, Elizabeth, catch this!”

Then she ducks.

“Come on Elizabeth, you can do it, don’t be scared. Just watch the ball!”

And she ducks again.

Those are just some snippets of the many conversations that we have had over the course of trying to teach her how to catch a ball.

She knew HOW to catch it. But not how to react fast enough TO catch it….a big thank you to her Dyspraxia. So she ducked. And ducked and well, you get the point.

Enter our wonderful friend, Miss Liz. I have mentioned her many times before. She is our dear friend, who teachers adapted PE at our school. She also works one-on-one with Elizabeth.

Liz had these great scarves, you could throw them and they F-L-O-A-T gently down and they are easily caught.

So with these great scarves:

Elizabeth built up her confidence.

She learned to react and catch something.

She was proud and happy.

So thank you scarves for being her first stepping stone to this motor skill.

Enter these really great guys called Success Balls.

They are a set of six, four inch balls.

They are filled with foam pellets and have these great mesh sides that allows the ball to sort of glide when it is thrown.

So the person catching it can be successful and strengthen hand-eye coordination. 

It is like the scarves only way more cool looking. And way more typical of what someone would be throwing.

They can be used to teach the skill of catching but in my opinion, the mesh filling inside of each ball also allows for the thrower to get a good grip on the ball and have success trying to throw. (Also another skill that we worked on quite a bit) Whereas regular balls often require a strong grip to throw them successfully, these balls can be kind of scrunched in your hand and that helps a lot.

Like I said, they come in a set of six, so there are plenty to practice. And speaking of practice, if the success balls are thrown in an errant manner, they will not do as much damage as say, the basketball my son MIGHT have accidentally thrown into the post light. So that is a good thing.

And each success ball is a different color to help promote color identification. 

Honestly, if we had had these guys when Elizabeth was young, I know we would have had a great time with them as we watched her succeed. 

So take a look at the on our site and keep in mind, winter is coming. So something that can be used indoors, for both fun and “work” is not a bad idea.

Elizabeth liked them too! I said “ Hey Elizabeth, catch these!” and she did! One by one, without missing any.

So thank you scarves but welcome…Success Balls.

I wish everyone a peaceful week.


Girl in a ball pool - Special Needs Essentials

Why is sensory play important to early childhood development?

Like most adults, children learn best and retain the most information when they engage their senses. Many of our favorite childhood memories are associated with one or more of our senses: the smell of a summer rainstorm or a song you sang with your family. Now, when your nose and ears are stimulated with those familiar smells and sounds, your brain triggers a flashback memory to those memories.

Sensory toys for children with special needs help teach hand-eye coordination, fine and gross motor skills, cognitive growth and social interaction. Sensory toys are not specially geared towards a particular age group. Rather, they are focused on the developmental level of the toy, not the specific age of the child.

Because specific developmental needs of each child varies, sensory toys designed for a certain age can be tailored to the specific need at hand. For instance, older children with autism can derive great benefits from toys that are designed for a younger child, like blocks or balls. By giving children the opportunity to investigate materials with no preconceived knowledge, you’re helping them develop and refine their cognitive, social, emotional, physical, creative and linguistic skill sets.

Many children with special needs can be less responsive to sensation. These sensory seekers benefit from toys that provide an intense experience with touch, texture, sound, pressure, light and balance. Sensory toys respond to a child’s actions. They offer feedback, like light and sound, that can help focus attention, soothe anxiety and decrease hyperactivity.

For sensory seekers, we offer a wide range of toys that provide a intense stimulation. These toys offer light, sound, varied textures, and vivid colors to provide a safe sensory experience. Toys that rock, spin, move, balance, and bounce are part of the sensory toy category. Others toys will encourage a child to move, balance and build. Here’s our Top Toys for Sensory Play.

Oddballs - Special Needs Essentials

Sensory Balls: Oddballs

What do you call four unique balls that come in gorgeous patterns and colors? Oddballs, of course! Perfect to bounce, kick, squeeze, roll, chase and love. Each ball feels different, offering a unique sensory experience. They are either soft or firm, covered with spikes, flowers, spirals and more. BPA free.

Finger paint - Special Needs Essentials

Sensory Art: Finger  Paint

Finger painting is a wonderful way for young children to develop manual dexterity, creativity, and self-expression through art! 6 brightly colored, washable finger paints with no-mess caps! Includes red, yellow, pink, green, blue and purple (3 oz. each). Don’t forget the finger paint paper, or our finger paint paper and tray.

Play Mat - 6x6 Foam Letter Puzzle (36 pieces)- Special Needs Essentials

Textured Puzzles: Play Mat – 6×6 Foam Letter Puzzle (36 PC)

Boost your child’s logic, reasoning and motor skills with the Play Mat – 3×3 Foam Letter Puzzle (10 PC). Each 12″x12″ tile has multiple removable puzzle pieces and textured tops for easy grip play and skid resistant bottoms. These fun, interactive tiles feature friendly animals, trucks, boats and more. The large, interlocking foam puzzle tiles doubles as a specific play area to enhance your child’s lifestyle.

Adorable Hippo Bath Set - Special Needs Essentials

Water Toys for Beach and Bath Time: Hippo Bath Set

Encourage Fun in the Tub with the Hippo Bath Set! This adorable purple Hippo organizes all of your bath tub clutter and strikes a cheery presence in the bathroom. The Hippo Bath Set also includes 41 colorful Wet & Stick Foam Letters to encourage creative play as well as fine motor skills, logic and reasoning, gross motor skills and hand-eye coordination. When playtime is over, just drain the Wet & Stick letters in hippo’s mouth to drain and dry.

Edushape Magic Bix

Blocks: Magic Brix Building Blocks

Spark your child’s creative side with the Edushape Magic Brix Building Blocks (72 PC). The Magic Brix offers soft and flexible building blocks especially designed for little hands. These nubby, interlocking bricks connect from practically every angle, making construction simple. The kit includes wheels and axles to build race cars, robots, houses, animals and more. With the Edushape Magic Brix Building Blocks, the sky’s the limit!

Drop by our Facebook page and tell us about your favorite sensory toy for a child with special needs. And if you have any suggestions for toys you’d like us to carry, we’d love to hear from you!

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