Friday, July 12, 2013

Hand Bag Sensory Kit

Sensory kits are a great way to help children with Autism self regulate and calm themselves by satisfying their sensory needs or sensitives. 
'Sensory' items encompass things that calm or stimulate the senses; sound, smell, taste, touch, sight, movement and also pressure for some children. 
These needs are different from child to child, so what goes into your kit will differ from what is in ours, think about your own child's likes and dislikes then tailor your items to suit them.
We have two different sensory kits that we take when we leave the house. This one pictured below is kept in my handbag, and the girls also each have a 'Sensory Backpack' which is personalised for each of them. I will post about their backpacks in our next post.
Our sensory kits are used everywhere from doctors waiting rooms, car trips and during the grocery shop. It means we have what they need on hand at all times and most anxieties or melt downs can be dealt with.

I keep our handbag sensory kit contained inside a large pencil case from the dollar shop. The contents of the kit change continuously to keep the items interesting.
I keep all of the items not in use in a large box in our study so it is easy to change out the contents of the kit every few weeks.

One of the most popular items in our kit are stamps and notepads. Not any old stamps though, our girls most enjoy the ones that have a push down action which gives them some deep pressure relief.
These stamps are only a few dollars at our local dollar shop and I have also bought them from BigW and KMart.

Silly putty or Theraputty for fine motor manipulation. I include small items like beads and work them into the putty so the girls can spend some time getting them out.
We buy our Theraputty from Special Needs Toys.

Jumping frogs and snap bands are great for fine motor and pressure seeking, and bubbles are a great oral motor activity that our girls find calming. We use scented bubbles to add an olfactory element. Touch-A-Bubbles which are bubbles you can catch add a tactile element.

These wooden toys are elasticated and can be manipulated into different shapes. This provides great sensory feedback. Both were bought from The Toy Bug.

Pinwheels are another oral motor activity our girls enjoy, I buy these in bulk packs from our local dollar shop very cheaply.
We also have mini kaleidoscopes in the kit which provide visual input.

Spinning tops, wind up toys and a larger kaleidoscope. PEZ shooters are also great for tactile stimulation.
The most important item in our kit is definitely our timer. We use this more than anything for things like turn taking (your turn for 5 minutes, then your sisters turn), pre warning (we will be leaving the park in ten minutes), calming strategies (you are over excited, lets blow bubbles together for 5 minutes) and in conjunction with our schedule boards.

Other Sensory Kit Items We Use:

Lengths of lycra fabric for wrapping
Battery operated fans
Mirrors (compacts)
Koosh balls
Magnet sets
Stress balls
Punch balloons
Back massagers

Stay tuned for our next post all about the contents of the girls Sensory Backpacks for more ideas.

Please note - This post is NOT sponsored, all online store and supplier links are genuinely where we buy our products and are items we use by choice.

1 comment:

  1. I'm going to scour the $2 shops to make one of these. Thank you for sharing. :)