Inexpensive purchases for kids’ sensory diet at home

Theraputty in 6 resistances. You can add small toys or poker chips to add an element of fun and additional work.

Pop bead critters. Okay, maybe not completely sensory, but it does work on fine motor skills.

Alex Toys Sand Box. Add toys, use fingers or a chopstick to draw with. If you keep checking Amazon, I have seen it recently for $22 (at which point I snatched up two). So, keep checking back. Actually – it’s $13.99 right now (1/10/2010).

Dried beans – 15 bean soup gives you a nice mix of 15 different types of beans.

Rice. You can dye rice different colors with food coloring and alcohol.

Target sells flat 11 x 14 inch covered Sterilite containers for scrapbooking paper storage. They make great table top bins for beans and rice play.

Also, I’m saving my plastic coffee cans to add beans and rice to so that they kids can dip their whole hands in and search for little toys at the bottom.


Another great sensory play tub is flour mixed with cocoa powder – soft silky texture with a great smell!

A covered underbed storage container makes for a decent portable sandbox. I’m thinking of pulling this one in from our back deck, now that it’s getting too crummy to go outside much here in the midwest.



Kazoos. Recorders. Whistles.

Musical instruments

Bean bags

A bean bag chair to sit on provides proprioreceptive input. Target sells large ones for $15 occasionally.

Those Pin Art things.

A sit n’ spin. We have an ancient one in the classic blue, yellow and orange colors.

A mini-trampoline. Check out your sporting goods stores, or Walmart, Kmart or even Aldi (yes, we got ours at Aldi for $40) before checking therapy places. You’ll spend a lot less. For children with selective mutism, a trampoline or a hop-ball is a must. Jumping/bouncing triggers the speech centers of the brain [from The Out of Sync Child has Fun, Carol Stock Kranowitz]. It’s also very good for transitions between activities.

A hop-ball

An exercise ball.

I’m thinking one of those twist boards might be useful to have too. Well, if not for my daughter, then I suppose I could use it for some exercise.

Exercise Resistance bands.

Milk jugs filled with sand and superglued shut.

2 liter bottles filled with water and superglued shut. Add sequins, glitter, soap and food coloring. Fun in a bottle. Good for heavy work.

The montessori sensorial activities offers a lot of sensory ideas you can even do at home.

fabric matching.


sound boxes (these are homemade ones made with film canisters and different materials, like rice, salt, coins, small bells, etc, made in pairs for matching purposes. stickers on the bottom for self-checking).


thermic tablets

tactile boards (you can make your owndifferent grits of sandpaper and glue onto flat pieces of wood).

This entry was posted in highly sensitive child, selective mutism, spd and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Inexpensive purchases for kids’ sensory diet at home

  1. Melissa says:

    Thanks for all of the great ideas!

  2. Ashley says:

    Brilliant! Thank you!

  3. raisingsmartgirls says:

    You’re Welcome!

  4. A little off topic perhaps, but a plea for people to consider the ethics of purchasing cheap trampolines. Do try and consider, for example, the materials your item is manufactured from, the conditions of the employees where they’re manufactured and the ethics of the retailer. And endeavour to recycle your trampoline instead of discarding. Thanks!!!!

  5. raisingsmartgirls says:

    Green Trampoline,

    I understand and appreciate what you are saying, but given there’s a massive recession going on, many people can NOT afford expensive trampolines. If it comes down to purchasing a necessary therapeutic element for their suffering child that is inexpensive but perhaps unethically produced, and NOT getting the therapeutic element at all for their child and depriving them of something that would help tremendously, I’d opt for healing the child and let go of the guilt.

    It perhaps sucks, but I’m not one of the idiots who screwed up the economy with the subprime mortgage debacle, and forced MANY people out of their homes.

    If people have the money, by all means buy local and ethically. These days, most people can barely afford the mortgage payments, let alone therapy products for their kids.

    You have to choose the lesser of two evils, sometimes.

    That being said, I’ll let your comment stand, since it wasn’t spammy and perhaps you’ll get a few hits your way and maybe someone will buy a trampoline from your company.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s