TACTILE BINS– put together various bins with very tactile items in it. May I suggest bins with good sealable lids?
• Dry pasta (mix it up!- macaroni, rotini, shells, etc.)
• Beans/peas (this is my fav- I love the feel of the smooth peas/beans)
A fun variation of this is to hide specific things in the bin, and make a chart (can be a card with pics on it) of the things they have to search for. For instance, we put some dry alphabet pasta in the pasta bin. You could have them search through and find the one that was the letter T. Or find the only red button in the button bin.
TEXTURED WALL– this is a great idea for those learning how to stand! Use textured materials and decorate a panel that you attach to the wall. (Or you could attach items directly to your wall). Use all material items (corduroy, terry cloth, fur, velvet, corrugated cardboard, etc.) or add items to the materials afterward (buttons, small toys, etc)
TACTILE BOX– this is a box/bin that you put together with all different textures. These could be things you find around the house, or I filled mine at the dollar store. Things I put in mine: bath scrubbies, scratchy bath mitts, wooden roller massage, chip bag, tissue paper, squishy balls, playdough, slinky toy…
WEIGHTED TOYS- Check the standard special needs websites and local stores.
SENSORY ‘ROOM’– both tactile and highly visual! -a lot of work for you, but a lot of fun for them! Great for children with vision limitations. IDEAS: chimes, soft fuzzy floor, textured paper, corrugated cardboard,etc.
PROJECTORS– great visual stimulation, great for sensory rooms.
WATER BOTTLES– . Why not a variation on this? Water, a little dye, and some floaty things that you can watch and look for when shaking it around.
VIDEO STOREYBOOKS- I love this idea! Kind of like the read along with the story, but for visual learners, the video equivalent!
MUSIC BIN– guaranteed to drive mom and dad crazy! Put together a bin of musical instruments you can pull out- a piano, flute/recorder, tambourines, maracas, castanets, bells, drums… a great way to include special needs kids in a group of children. Put on a marching band!
MUSICAL CDS– Just some ideas to get you thinking:
• Instrumental (classical)
• Children’s (soundtracks from familiar tv shows work great)
• Soft drumming
• Baby Einstein cds/videos are GREAT! They are the only way I’ve gotten any sleep during the past few years when my son was awake all night. You can purchase these online or in most stores that sell cds.
HOUSE SOUNDS– make recordings of different house sounds- the doorbell, dryer, alarm clock, tap running, microwave beeping, telephone, washer, sound of a door closing, etc. Play the recordings and guess what it is that is making that sound.
VIBRATING TOOTHBRUSH– helps oral stimulation.
BLOW TOYS– pinwheel, whistle, birthday blowers, kazoos… Blowing BUBBLES!
HOUSE SNIFF– go around the house and seek out different smells. The kitchen is a great place to start- smell the spices, different fruits. In the laundry room (if not sensitive to the scent), you can take a gentle smell of laundry detergent. In the bathroom you can smell all of the different bath and body products. Shaving cream, lotion, bars of soap, shampoo, toothpaste. Go outside- what smells outside? The grass, the flowers, the bark on the tree…
SPICE GUESS– Pull out the spice jars! Take a few moments to familiarize yourself with the smell of different spices. Then (without looking), smell them individually, discuss their scent and try to guess. For an easier guess, let the person see the spice or tell them the color of it.
ROLY POLY– roll the child up in a blanket or mat. Give them hugs and squeezes. Great for deep pressure input.
BLANKET SWING– have two people hold a blanket and swing the child/client in it.
BIKE– make sure children are comfortable and safely secured when having children ride through neighborhood,parks, school, etc.