Product Ideas for children with sensory processing issues
In our last post we looked at techniques and products that would help adults with sensory processing issues. As its coming up towards Christmas we thought we would do a similar list for children.
Here’s some ideas of products that you may like.
Some great sensory products more geared towards children that can help alleviate sensory issues are:
- The Plasma Cars are good fun and quite the sensory experience.
- Floam and/or playdough are great to helping kids get accustomed to tactile sensations, but don’t force them to touch these items. Try to slowly incorporate them into their play. At first they might use tools to scoop it and pat it, which is fine.
- Crazy forts is a fun option so kids can create their own fort and you can buy additional kits to make the fort larger and they even have a kit that glows in the dark or has lights: Everest Toys Crazy Forts, Glow in the Dark, Another option when creating a “quiet space” is a pop up tent. Forts and tents are helpful when overstimulated. Pop up tents are convenient for small places because they can easily collapse and be put away. I recommend the easy foldable type verses the kind of tent that you have to feed the poles through. We buy Playhut forts which are durable, easy and fast to set up. There are many options based on character or theme. Find your favorite playhut.
- Weighted vests can be worn and additional weights can be added until the optimal weight is achieved. Integrations Weighted Vest
- At bedtime we recommend weighted blankets to help calm down and relax your child. Integrations Blanket Small. Making your own blanket may be a more affordable option for directions visit www.sensationalbrain.com , I have seen people make their own using fabric that their child prefers (ie. with princess characters or cars).
- Swings can be used to calm or to stimulate. Swinging slowly backward and forward is a calming rocking sensation. Whereas spinning in a swing can be stimulating. However, please be careful and keep in mind the type of sensory regulation that you (or your child) can tolerate. You don’t want to cause an upset stomach. We use this seat/swing from Ikea Ikea Ekorre Swing/hanging Seat/hammock In&outdoor.
- Bean bags are perfect when your child needs to calm down and provides some snuggly effects. My recommendation is to go with a type of bean bag chair that contains a polyester fill instead of the Styrofoam beads. Also, check to see if the material is made of an easy-to-clean wipe-able material or if you can buy an extra slip cover for it. Sitting Bull Mini Bean Bag in Happy Sheep. My personal favorite is made by Yogibo. Yogi Midi Color: Pink. I had the pleasure of going to the Yogibo store and the staff was very friendly and helpful. They even showed me how to stand up the pillow, then seat the child on the top, grab the sides and pick up and shake slightly so they sink into the “yogibo midi” to achieve a really comfy compression.
- Balancing boards can be fun but challenging. You might need to help children by holding their hands or placing them near a wall that they can lean against until they become more stable to the balancing board. For 3-6 year olds we recommend the monkey board. Alex Monkey Balance Board. For older children and adults, I recommend something a little larger such as the Wobble Deck. Wobble Deck.
- Fidget toys are a great help to stay focused. There are pencil topper fidget toys Abilitations Pencil Fidgets – Set of 4 Pencils with Fidgets – Assorted Styles.
- Have a biter? Or a child with weak facial muscles? Try “chewy tubes.” They help redirect kids from biting themselves or others and can be used to build muscle strength in the face. We used the “P’s and Q’s” with much success. Also, they make chewy tube necklaces, or you can just get some string and hang a “Q” around their neck until they gain better control of their biting. Abilitations Chewy Tubes – P and Qs.
- If you need sensory activities for your child then we highly recommend the Book “The Out-of-Sync Child has Fun” The Out-of-Sync Child Has Fun, Revised Edition: Activities for Kids with Sensory Processing Disorder.
Though by no means a child now, I recognise now that I’d found many of these things for myself when a child. Of course, most kids like squishy play dough and forts/tents :D, so I won’t count those.
When sleeping I had to have my sheets and blanket firmly and tightly tucked in, so it put pressure on me, and would go have the covers over my head.
Swings, both swinging and twisting I used a lot (and still do if noone is looking 🙂 )
And I used to spend a lot of time walking along the tops of fences balancing, from one end back to the other, whenever I could.
And I still love the secure “hugging” feeling of a bean bag (though sometime I can “feel” the beans, and get a little annoyed by them).