Monday, December 1, 2014

Christmas Gifts for the Sensory Kid

Typically I do a blog post around this time of year about Christmas gifts that are ecofriendly.  I have a young toddler and an older toddler edition if you are interested in reading about them.  I had planned on doing a preschool edition this year but with all the happenings of late I had actually added a lot of sensory enriching/calming/ behavior helping whatever gifts for Destructo to his wish list.  So I decided that this years blog post should be about that.  I might get around to the ecofriendly edition as well.  We shall see.

My son is a bit of a seeker so a lot of the toys on this list are to help sensory seekers get that sensory input they crave.  He is also lagging in fine motor skills so a ton of the things on this list are to help him out in that area.  There are also things on there that I am getting him (or he already has) to help him with his speech.  So basically this is a sensory gift guide for my particular sensory kid.  But I would love love love it if my readers would chime in with sensory gifts for kids that have different sensory needs than Destructo.  Please.  I will actually add links to this post so it become a more all encompassing list for sensory kiddos.

First on my list would be a bunch of board games.  (Any of these toys can be clicked on for more info.)  Destructo seems to calm down and behave better when we play board games with him.  I think he likes the structure and rules of them.  There are a number of board games we are getting him for Christmas to help with fine motor skills.  Two of these are:

Cute frogs that you feed flies and improve fine motor skills while learning colors and numbers
  Cute squirrels that work on motor skills as well as matching and sorting as well as other preschool skills

One other game that looks like it would be great for working on fine motor skills is Tweezers are great for fine motor skills so this looks like it would be a great game.  It also works on counting and colors.

lacing beads and lacing cards  These are great for fine motor skills.  Kai likes the lacing beads better because he can pretend they are snakes.  Which is ironic seeing as this was what his recurrent nightmares were about.  Snake repellent solved that.  (And that is in tomorrow's blog post.)

Slicing foods can also help fine motor skills.

In the speech and oral sensory seeking department, I have read that blowing bubbles is good.  I like these bubbles best.
Another thing that Destructo has and loves is chewy tubes.  He used to chew on baby teethers but that posed a problem when he eventually bit right through one and then drank the (thankfully non toxic) liquid. This is the actual chewy tube Destructo has.  He sits there and gnaws on it but also turns it around and around in his mouth feeling the bumps on it I assume.

In the sensory seeking and craving department, we have a number of things that we are getting Destructo or he already has.  They all fill different types of seeking.  Kai is mainly an auditory, tactile, and vestibular seeker.

First and foremost in the vestibular seeking area is his swing set.  He can climb, swing, jump, slide on this.  We also added a rock pit onto the bottom under the clubhouse part of it.  He loves digging in the rocks and using his construction equipment to excavate construction sites.

And next up is a mini trampoline.  We have this one  and love it.  I love the bar on the front of it so that he can't crash off as easily.  And on a totally different note, he uses the bar to pretend he is sliding down a fire pole on his way to put out fires.  He can burn energy and satisfy  his sensory seeking with this.

Destructo likes horses and has two horses at my parents house that he loves to "ride."   He has named both of them Ellie (which sadly makes me want to tear up each time since that was my beloved mares name.)  He rides them in the Kentucky Derby (and always wins.)

I had read that a sit and spin was another great toy for vestibular seekers.  Destructo never seemed to be able to get the hang of it though and I think that is probably just that he is slightly behind in motor skills.  Let me just say that the fun I had as a kid on one of these bad boys made it worth buying. 
In the tactile seeking department, we have tons of things.  Until the last year Destructo was actually more of a tactile avoider than a seeker.  But I worked with him a lot and then one day it was like he did a 180 and started really seeking tactile input.  Things he has liked are:

ball pit   We had this for awhile in a pack n play.  I eventually had to get rid of it because at the time Destructo didn't like it that much as he was a tactile avoider and we just don't have room for it.  But now he loves ball pits so much.
playdough  Destructo likes making cookies, biscuits, and all kinds of food with playdough.  If you are a do it yourselfer, I have a blog post about making homemade playdough.
Speaking of making things yourself, you can have tons of fun sensory play with dried beans.  Or you can make sensory colored rice.  I ended up putting and old Scrabble game tiles in it to help him learn letters.
finger paints  Yay for getting messy and having fun.

Water tables are great for summer outdoor sensory play.  You can even put ice cubes in it to make it even more fun.
Kinetic sand is the most amazing thing known to man.  My mother in law bought some for Destructo when I had Owl.  It was great to amuse him when I was so busy and I (errr he) still plays with it every night.  It can be made into shapes or  just let flow through your hands.  Heck who am I kidding, you don't even need to buy this for your kids.  Just buy it for your own stress relief.  Destructo is getting colored kinetic sand for Christmas from my mother in law and I can't wait to play with it.  :)

Insta snow.  We live in an area where we don't get a whole lot of snow.  Kai has been asking for two years now when it is going to snow again.  There are no guarantees here so I saw this and it will allow him to play in "snow" and also be good for tactile seeking.

Finally Destructo is a auditory seeker.  He yells, talks, sings, hums just to hear the noise.  He is so loud.  So he has some toys coming for Christmas to help maybe channel some of that seeking into semi productive uses.  You know instead of just screaming Ollie OLLLIIIEEEEE Ollie OLLLLIIIEEEEE over and over and over again.

Musical instruments.  I ordered the first set for a Christmas present for Destructo.  I hope that him and Owl can have marching bands for years to come with that.  The second picture is one for a younger child.  I might regret this in approximately 24 days.  I will let you know.

Rain tube.  Even at 3 1/2 years old, Destructo still likes shaking this and watching the beads fall.
Okay there you have it.  These are my ideas for the sensory kid in your life.  Let me know what I can add to it and I will!  I might add a few more ideas tomorrow when I can look around the kiddos rooms.  I know I am forgetting some things but obviously it isn't worth waking the kids hahaha.

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