The thing is that it can cost a small fortune to fill your 'sensory space' with the tools and equipment your 'sensational' child uses at OT. But there are many things you can do on your own with stuff you have around your house that work just as well. Yes, we've bought a few gadgets, tweaks some do-dads and even made many of our own 'sensory' tools (see our post about our ramp and the picture of our climbing wall above) but we use everyday, inexpensive or even FREE things too. Let me share some of them with you:
(1) Grocery shopping: Yes, you can ask your little one to get things for you off the shelves at the store but it's WAY more fun to go shopping at home! Get a laundry basket and have your child 'go shopping' from the fridge and cupboards (making sure to steer clear of the glass containers or things, like full juice jugs, that could break or spill!). Then have him drag it around to 'take the groceries home'.
(2) Drag Races: For this you can use blankets or sheets, laundry baskets or heavy duty boxes. Decide where the starting and ending points will be and mark them clearly for everyone to understand. Making sure to have people evenly paired up in terms of size and weight, have one person sit on the blanket/laundry basket/sheet while the other is the puller. Count down from three then ::BANG!:: the drag race starts--first person across the 'finish line' wins!
|Xander's Suped-Up Push Toy!|
(4) Indoor Hikes: This is more Xander's thing than Jaimie's but he throws a bunch of toys, his blankie or other things he likes and walks around the house. I made up a game where we go for 'hikes' and we climb the climbing wall (like mountain climbing), lay on our tummies swimming through the river (strengthens his upper torso which is very weak), go up and down the stairs then have a picnic! He actually takes his backpack with us whenever we go for a walk or to the park or just playing golf in the front yard. (I think this was one of the first signs for me that he had some issues in this area.)
(5) Xander's Golf: Golf is one of Xander's favorite activities, even though he has some trouble hitting the ball. What we've done is tweaked it so his clubs are a bit heavier (eg: attaching yoga weights to the handle) then having him use larger balls with a bit more weight to them (eg: gel yoga balls or baseballs). He's actually in a much better mood after playing THIS kind of golf than the regular kind.
Those are only a few things we've tried. I'm sure you can come up with many of your own fantastic ideas. Just take everyday tasks or items around the house and see how you can turn them into a fun and exciting proprioception tool! It's easier than you think. =)