Wednesday, November 4, 2015
Sensory Squeeze Ball Stringing
In my book From Flapping to Function: A Parent's Guide to Autism and Hand Skills readers learn how to adapt activities to provide the types of sensory stimulation that meet the child's needs while at the same time motivating them to use their hands and develop fine-motor skills.
One way to do this is by attaching a squeeze ball to the end of a stringing activity. I bought a squeeze ball at the dollar store while browsing. I didn't plan on buying one, but it felt so good inside my hand I wanted it for myself. As usual I figured if I enjoyed it so much, so would my clients.
I made the activity shown in these photos by tying the ball tightly with string. The individual has to motor plan to push it through the rings. I am starting out with pretty large rings and will move to smaller ones later so that they have to squeeze even more in order to push and pull the ball through them. I love how they can stop stringing to enjoy squeezing the ball at any point.
I cut the rings shown here out of detergent bottles so you can make the rings and holes inside any size that you desire and they can then vary in bright, vibrant colors.
I have used different types of "string" including men's ties, long strips of soft, fleece cut from my old sweaters and broken coils from chargers. They really have to pull hard and motor plan to make smaller rings go down the coil.
Options for sensory objects to attach to the stringing end include an electric toothbrush, flashing light up toothbrush, or Koosh ball. Let share if you have found something special to attach to the end of your stringing activity.