Sunday, August 17, 2014

Preparing for the future

    For the past week I have been trying to keep my mind off the results of Doc's evaluation, still waiting for the phone call. 
    I have been working on some ideas for the new sensory/therapy room. Sensory bins are wonderful hands on fun for many ages including toddlers and preschoolers! Many skills can be learned and explored through sensory bin play including social and emotional communication, literacy, fine motor skills, and more! Sensory bins provide an outlet for children to engage in a meaningful way and also receive sensory input that their little minds and bodies crave. 
   Exploring through touch and feel can be a positive experience for most children. Sensory input from sensory bins works with your child's nervous system. Some fillers may be preferable to others, so don't give up trying! Let your child be your guide! Use a sensory bin to talk with your child about what he or she is sensing! Great communication and self-awareness activity. What do you see? How does it make you feel? What does it feel like? Help them find new words for feelings, textures, and new senses. Lots of sensory bins can also be scented with essential oils or extracts to play with the sense of smell! If your child is still very much into eating, exploring a bin full of dried cereal is still sensory play and engages the sense of taste too! 

   Our latest bin is filled with water beads. Mr. Holland can't even look at them without feeling nauseous. MVP doesn't like the feel of them (my avoiders), but the girls love running their fingers through the cold, wet, and delicate balls. This is a total sensory experience. Water beads start off as little dehydrated pebbles that expand with water. After 8 hours (we let ours sit over night) they become much bigger swishy beads. These are very calming to handle for sensory seekers. Add a string of lights under the bin and you have a very inexpensive light table for visual stimulation. To store them for a large amount of time let them dehydrate and store in an airtight container. 
(Always use under supervision and away from pets.)