Friday, April 27, 2012

Sensory Pull Toy

I was pleased to discover that the motor to the Sguiggly Wiggly pen fit perfectly inside the pouring spout of  a detergent bottle. This can make an activity vibrate and many children pay better attention given that proprioceptive sensory input.  A bottle such as this one can easily be turned into a vibrating shape sorter by cutting 1-3 holes and providing the corresponding shapes that fit through them. For example, cut a square hole and provide blocks.    The activity I designed this week involves grasping rings to pull the thick fabric strands from one side of the bottle to the other. I cut the rings out of the pouring ends of dishwasher soap bottles. You can see the ridges where the caps screw on the bottles. I wanted to make an activity that would encourage 1 1/2- 4 year old children to pull the rings, nice and hard. This gives them sensory feedback and also strengthens the hands and shoulders as they stabilize the arms while pulling.  I made the strips of fabric thick enough to require force while pulling but not too thick as to discourage the children.  I figured having 3 rings to pull would enable me to work on repeating 1,2,3 as the children did one side and then turned it around to pull in the other direction. I also like how they will need to alternate in grasping the handle with the left and right hands. Children at this age often don't have a hand preference yet and using both hands in this way develops coordination between the left and right sides in preparation for developing a side dominance.    As you watch the video notice that I am rather enjoying the pulling experience!   


syakirah said...

hi. im Aini from Malaysia. i am degree student of occupational therapy program.

i would like to say it is such a fantastic idea of the toy!

thanks for sharing .. love to read ur blog =)

barbara said...

thank-you so much :-)