Our Sensory Bin

After attending several therapy classes with Leilani and learning all about her sensory needs, it was clear to me that I needed to start collecting objects and toys that would alert or calm her senses.  Thus our sensory bin was born.  I had an extra plastic bin leftover from when I organized our closet, and it seemed the perfect size for a starting point.  I began making, collecting, and discovering toys and other objects to keep in it for Leilani to utilize.

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Inside I have:

  • 2 homemade sensory bottles
  • purple bouncy ball
  • red medicine ball
  • chewelry, pacifiers, & other chewable toys
  • fidget toys
  • a bubbler
  • interlocking toys

For the sensory bottles, I found the bottles at the store, and made them myself.  The rice bottle is a basic I-spy bottle.  I used various toys I had taken away from the girls due to them being choking hazards, play money from our school cabinet, alphabet beads, and even paper clips.  I put the objects inside and then filled it with rice.  The liquid bottle had glitter of all shapes and colors, sequins, plastic beads, and metal beads inside it.  I then filled it with water a couple of inches from the top, and then added glycerin the rest of the way.  The glycerin makes the liquid thicker and allows the glitter and other sparkly objects to float longer before settling to the bottom.  Leilani LOVES them.  She is very possessive of them.  They provide her with lots of stimulation that actually is very calming for her.  She lifts them and carries them around providing her with heavy work.  I use them as my go-to car sensory toys.  They have been great for our trips to town and for bringing along when we go to other places.

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Then I also have the purple “bouncy ball”.  Its not really a bouncy ball, in fact I don’t allow Leilani to play with it like that inside.  No, its for her to actually sit on and bounce on.  Our therapist recommended a small yoga ball, except they don’t really make yoga balls that small that I could find quickly, so I found this exercise “core ball”.  Its the perfect size for her to sit on and bounce and trust me, she will bounce around on it long enough for me to take a shower and get ready for the day, so I say that is a WIN.

The little red ball is a weighted exercise ball… actually its a soft medicine ball that I am borrowing from my mother-in-law.  Again, its heavy work for her to heave around the house.  And its soft so if she drops it, it doesn’t hurt her or the floor.

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Then we have lots of chewable toys, ‘chewelry’, and pacifiers available for her to do some ‘mouth work’ as our therapist calls it.  She’ll often just meander about the house with one of these in her mouth.

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And lastly, some of our family members gave Leilani a whole array of sensory toys for her birthday.  So there are several soft fidget toys, a bubbler, and a set of molecule-shaped interlocking building pieces.

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Everything fits perfectly inside the bin, and I haven’t figured out the best place in our house for it to stay.  Currently I have it in our room and Leilani is learning that its her special little bin.  I have several other things that I plan on adding to the bin such as headphones, books, and more weighted items for heavy work.  I also have a surgical-type scrub brush that isn’t yet in the bin, because I take it around with me for meltdowns in say, the grocery store.  But as those lessen, then the brush will be added to the bin.

The sensory bin is a game changer for us.  I am well-stocked in defenses for when we have a bad day.  It calms Leilani down and I love a calm Leilani.

 

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