This post is brought to you and contributed by an outside writer.
Whether you are a parent of an Autistic child or an early learner then you no doubt are in the market for some sensory toys. Previously, Femme Frugality showed you how to make a sensory bottle, which has helped a lot of parents calm their distracted child.
There are so many more types of sensory toys, though. You may want to make some yourself if you were inspired already to make the bottle. Of course, if you don’t have the ambition or time, then feel free to pick up some school supplies value bundles that include some sensory toys.
Here are just a few ideas of some sensory tools you can make yourself at home after you’ve checked out the sensory bottle.
Just about anybody can enjoy the benefits of a fidget toy. The repetitive motor movements they require are a good way to help somebody focus and calm down when feeling anxiety.
For an Autistic child, the rhythm allows the brain to filter out any outside sensory information. Noises, lights and similar stimuli can cause an anxious child to have an episode.
When making a fidget toy, make sure that it has a few factors that make it useful during one of these episodes.
For instance, if it can respond to a movement the child has then it will help them to focus. A balloon filled with sensory sand that will squish in their hand in a rhythm works very well.
Another example is a string of beads, sort of like a rosary or prayer beads. These can also work well. When they feel fidgety, moving a bead across the string one after the other offers up a rhythm that allows them to block out stimuli from outside.
When a child’s system is overwhelmed with stimulation, a weighted item can be like a strong hug that allows them to calm themselves on their own.
A very popular tool is a weighted blanket that offers deep pressure stimulation. A good one provides even and gentle pressure that helps to create a sense of calm and safety. This is a tool to be used before a child starts getting overwhelmed and spiraling out of control with emotions and fear.
Since these blankets can be quite expensive, you can start out by trying one you make yourself to see if it works for your child. If you have an afghan or a thick quilt, you can fold it into fourths and then lay it over your child. See how they respond to it and then buy an actual weighted blanket.
Weighted stuffed animals also have a similar effect when placed on a child’s lap. Take a stuffed animal and open it up. Then fill the inside with things like sand, poly pellets or even some rice. When the child has it sit on their lap it will also feel like getting a big hug.
ASMR Soap Balls
Another way to calm the body is by stimulating the Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR.) A popular way to do that right now is through ASMR soap balls.
To make soap balls, grate a soap bar or soap loaf. Glycerin soap tends to work best. After you’ve grated the soap, gather up a handful at a time. Spray it a few times with a water bottle, then mold it into a ball shape.
Allow the soap balls to dry for a few days. Then they’ll be ready for your child to squeeze in their hands. As the soap ball crumbles, it will make a crunching sound which initiates the ASMR.