December 12, 2011

Sensory Boxes & Button Fine-Motor Game

{Indoor Activities}

My boys love to play outside. We relished the long, mild autumn months and played outside as much as possible. One of the wonderful things about the great outdoors is that it is easy for Grant to get his much needed sensory input. Swinging, climbing and sliding down the play set, t-ball, water play, rolling around in the grass, throwing leaves up in the air, and going on long, meandering walks were fabulous pieces of his sensory diet.  

But now that cold weather and shorter days are here to stay for a while, I decided to restock our indoor sensory boxes.

I chose to go with pasta and dried kidney beans this time around. After adding a bunch of miscellaneous toys from around the house, it became a great new center of entertainment.

Wesley can contently play with the sensory box for long periods at a time. Grant, on the other hand, can sometimes handle the full sensory box - if seated at the table with a weighted vest. But other times it is too much for him and he'll start getting a little aggressive and throw the items - sensory overload. If I feel that is going to be the case, then I will have him sit at the table with a smaller version of the sensory box and work through it with him.


I made another sensory box filled with a larger ratio of softer items including fussy pom-poms, cotton balls, foam blocks, and feathers.

Grant and Wesley know shapes and are close to knowing most colors but they are far from recognizing letters and numbers. I saw the foam items in the baby bath section at Target and thought they would be great for numerous activities. The foam "splash cards" are also a great tool for working on Grant's (and Wesley's) verbal skills. I like to hide a couple foam items in the sensory box and talk about them while we play.


One of the things the doctors drilled into us when we visited the Duke Fragile X Clinic was to place a significant focus on strengthening Grant's fine motor skills (on top of his other therapies). Using a yogurt container and cutting a slit in the lid to slide buttons through is a great fine-motor activity.

Rotating and lining up the button, while keeping a steady hand, is a challenge for Grant. But he is getting better every time we practice!

I found this idea on Pinterest and had to copy it. The boys love to get their hands on our wipes container and pull out all the wipes. So, over the weekend, I got some scrap material, cut it up and put it in one of our old containers. The boys think it is great fun and I don't get upset over seeing our wipes scattered across the floor.


1 comment

  1. I remember working on the buttons just like you have it now. When Grant gets a little older, find a container with several sections (a sectioned plate or mancala board, bead box), and have him put a penny in each section with both hands at the same time. (Pick up a penny with one hand, and then immediately after with the other), and drop both pennies into a section. My therapists used to time me on this one.



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