Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Toy Review Tuesday: Homemade Tactile Sensory Boxes

Rice Sensory Box
I think I can safely say that Matthew is not tactile defensive. This simply means he is not sensitive to touch sensations or easily overwhelmed by our ordinary daily experiences and activities such as hair brushing, walking barefoot on grass, petting our long-haired cat, playing with water, and so on. While these are good indicators that he is neither tactile sensory defensive, I think it is still important to provide the tactile (touch) sensory experience and input that will help Matthew continue to learn and develop a better understanding of the world around him.

Matthew's therapists have given me great ideas for tactile play. We have created homemade tactile sensory boxes using a medium/ large plastic storage box and a variety of materials. I use this type of play to help build language or concepts like 'scoop' and 'pour' and 'stir' while purposefully working on fine motor skills. Here are some materials that Matthew enjoys playing with:
- Uncooked rice or beans
- Uncooked pasta
- Feathers
- Sand (Moon Sand is also fun)
- Cotton balls or craft pom poms

I've also tried messier, gooier substances but with little to no success as he is highly suspicious and averse to handling them. I've tried painting with pudding on a tray with no success. I've tried playing with Cool Whip or Funny Foam Soap with some success.

Overall, he likes the dry stuff a lot more than the messy, gooey stuff. I think he gets that from me as I have a low tolerance for messy, gooey, and slimy things. So I can't blame the guy for not wanting to play with certain textures, I do have to encourage him to try.

1. Never force him to touch a material.
2. If he is averse to touching a certain material with his hands, I offer him another object such as a spoon to touch, poke, stir, roll, etc, it with.

I'm sure there are so many more materials one can use for tactile sensory play. The few that I mentioned are things we have tried. Please feel free to share other ideas with us.


Adrienne said...

As always, thanks for sharing these ideas!

McTriplet Mommy said...

Great ideas! Lorne was VERY averse to different textures and things for so long - I am so appreciative for his teachers and therapists who had great ideas like this!

PS - thought you might want to see this article in the KC star.


Take care,

Cathal's Mammy said...

Cathal is a huge fan of dried pasta, so much so that he tries to eat it after it's been thrown all over the sitting room.
Flour is another great one, very messy :-) Even messier when you add a little water and food colouring to make home made playdo!

To Love Endlessly said...

great idea! Marissa will have her own little box before too long. I like that you make him at least try to touch something even if he's not thrilled about it.

Beverly said...

Oh, he is so cute! Noah loved his rice box too. He used to get in it and sit when he was younger.

Monica said...

Great ideas, I wish this blog had been around when Adam was little!!!!!!

Tina said...

Thanks for all the great great information and tips...its so wonderful that you share this with the rest of us, and its all so practical and do-able! I shall definately try them out with Saira. I know she hates having her hair brushed, so she's definately sensitive there.
I Love your blog, thanks and look forward to the next post

Jill said...

Great Great Great ideas! Once again I feel so happy to have found your blog...and your friendship! I am going to try this with Nate! Thanks for sharing this info. It's like having more than one therapist! Bonus!

ch said...

Always so clever! LC's still in munch mode, (everything is in the mouth immediately) but my nephew would LOVE this...

Michelle said...

Great post! We have a 'bean bucket' that Kayla just loves to still play with!

Monica Crumley said...

So cute! We love to play with colored rice. A little messy, but at least it won't kill the dog who eats everything off the floor :-)

Rosa said...

He is so cute! When I saw some pictures of Matthew when he was a baby, it reminded me to Tommy. They have a similar look.

I will try all these textures because Tommy is into trying everything that feels different. Thank you for sharing all these tips with us.