Archives for posts with tag: Sensory Bin

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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As I write this I am listening to Elizabeth singing to the music on her phone.
She loves music. Absolutely loves it. And she loves singing as well and for a mom who did not hear any words from her child until about age five, I love when she belts out some parts of the song.
The thing is, with her special needs, specifically Dyspraxia, making those sounds and words correctly has always been and is currently, hard work. She still mispronounces words and sounds, she will correct herself, but it still happens. So as in all parts of her life, she is working hard.
Still, I do love when I hear a random “Gotta kiss yourself, you’re so pretty! (thank you Bruno Mars!)
When she was little we encouraged anything verbal anyway we could. We would put on music and dance. Elizabeth and her sister Emily each had these great plastic microphones to sing into. They were really cool because they amplified your voice and made you feel like you were singing loudly. Making this fun was what made Elizabeth want to have these singing times quite often.
And now, I came across those wonderful microphones…they are officially called Magic Mic. The one I am looking at is deep purple and trimmed in green, which I loved.
It is like welcoming an old friend home!
This mic felt nice and substantial in my hand as opposed to the flimsier feel of the ones years ago.
Trying it out proved to me that it works just like I remembered. My voice was nicely louder than when I talked naturally.
I showed it to Elizabeth and she said “Hey, I remember those!” I think that says a lot because she has had quite a number of toys/therapy tools enter her life.
I think what made this microphone so nice for Elizabeth was that there was literally no learning curve with it.

And for those who have sensory issues and challenges with motor skills, this is really great because once a child gets frustrated with a toy, it is so hard to get them to try again.
All this child has to do it hold the microphone up to their mouth and utter a sound…..then instant gratification!
I can so see how this could fit into a sensory diet and sensory bin. With the music on, movements could be encouraged as well as working on sounds and words. And in the middle of winter, this kind of energy burn along with getting in some good work, sound good. Right?
So if you think this sounds like something you might wish to look at, please visit our store.
Oh! and for the record or well, blog actually, Michael is currently using the microphone to announce scores he is reading off his daily afterschool dose of ESPN. So know it is simply fun to use.
I hope everyone stays warm and safe. Unless you are in a tropical state and in that case, I am envious!
I wish everyone a peaceful week,.
Michele
Author of “ I Believe In You: A Mother and Daughter’s Special Journey” and “Emily’s Sister”

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