Making Sensory Boxes

14 Jun

I am heartily sick of not being able to drive the ten miles to the local town without Small Boy and Small Girl arguing and fighting. They take any chance to needle each other and even to hit and slap. Frankly I’ve had enough of it, and I’m sure they have too. I don’t know why they can’t get along, but I remembered that when the teens were small they each had a cuddly toy that was only for car journeys. They would hug them and chat to them and play, and mostly things weren’t too bad. Armed with this thought I let it wander for a while and came up with an idea.

I had to drop Teen Girl at the bus station and Husband at the airport yesterday so I spent half an hour at the pound shop in town before making my way home. I bought this lot:-

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Then I popped into the supermarket for a couple of smallish strong boxes. Today I sorted out the piles into a set for B and a set for M:-

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Actually, I confess that the orange and blue rubbery stick men came from the autism conference I went to this week. But all the rest was from the pound shop. I chose a variety of toys that can be played with imaginatively, cuddled, stroked, or squeezed, and for a first attempt I don’t think I did too badly. I am planning to add to the boxes with some off-cuts of fleece fabric (they both adore the feel of fleece) and maybe something from Chewigem that is designed for putting in their mouths as M especially is very orally fixated, but they were delighted when they saw what I was up to. They both understand that these boxes are not for sharing (the idea is to keep them apart in the car) and that the boxes will not be used indoors.

The round balls aren’t easy to see in the photos above, but they are my favourite toy so far. Small Boy was very excited when I showed him what they do, and he has promised to try and use it instead of scrunching up his hands when he feels angry or frustrated. Here’s how they work:-

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I must admit, I’m a bit annoyed I didn’t pick one up for myself for when I’m stuck in traffic jams, or on the telephone to someone who is trying my patience, but I guess I can always sneak a shot of one of theirs.

So, here are the boxes so far:-

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Tomorrow afternoon the children and I are off to the autism centre’s summer picnic, a journey of over an hour on a day that will already have included Sports Day, so they could well be hot, tired and grumpy. I’m hoping the contents of these boxes will work a little magic and they will travel calmly. I’ll let you know.

NB For the purposes of my sanity when driving, I haven’t included any toys that squeak, chime or clunk, but if you are making a sensory box for home, depending on the age of your child(ren) I think adding noisy toys would be a great idea. And apologies for the poor quality of the pictures but it was quicker to take snaps on my phone than to faff about with my camera.

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13 Responses to “Making Sensory Boxes”

  1. madness42 June 14, 2015 at 1:55 pm #

    We have a couple of sensory boxes I made over the years. They can be life savers… the biggest success was in restaurants.

    • ouremuk66 June 14, 2015 at 3:44 pm #

      Restaurants that have decent toy boxes are dear to my heart. The places we frequent (mostly cafes) have this idea and it makes eating out so much more pleasant for everyone.

  2. aviets June 14, 2015 at 2:20 pm #

    Brilliant! I used to have special bags for our kids for church, doctor visits, etc. I hope these boxes work really well. 🙂

    • ouremuk66 June 14, 2015 at 3:46 pm #

      I’ve tended to be the throw-it-in-my-handbag type of mum but I’m learning that some planning might be a good idea. I think they will love them (she says crossing her fingers)

  3. mrsabbyj June 14, 2015 at 7:19 pm #

    Reblogged this on mgwebbuddy.

    • ouremuk66 June 14, 2015 at 7:40 pm #

      Thank you! I shall head on over and check out your blog 🙂

      • mrsabbyj June 14, 2015 at 8:08 pm #

        Thank you so much and thanks for sharing

  4. Kiran Chug June 14, 2015 at 8:50 pm #

    What a great idea! I need to try something like this for car journeys with my two! x

    • ouremuk66 June 15, 2015 at 10:13 am #

      I hope you have fun making them, and they enjoy them x x

  5. mummyshambles June 15, 2015 at 5:38 am #

    Great idea! I’m going to make one for S! 🙂 Xx

    • ouremuk66 June 15, 2015 at 10:13 am #

      I think I’ve started something. Added a length of fleece each and another couple of wee bits this morning. They’re looking good 🙂

  6. clairetiptop July 4, 2015 at 9:12 am #

    We’ve these at school for distraction / calm down situations

    • ouremuk66 July 4, 2015 at 7:37 pm #

      I think they’re so simple I have no idea why I didn’t think of it before. They are 100% better behaved in the car now 🙂

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