Saturday, February 12, 2011

It's not all fun and games, but SOME of it is!

I often joke that having a kid with sensory issues is a good excuse for buying cool things.  It's how I justify having a roller slide, mini trampoline, and hanging nest swing in my basement.  However, one inexpensive sensory toy that gets a lot of use in our house is the BEAN BOX.  Bum, bum, buuummm!!!!!  I. love. this.  Running his hands through the pinto beans has an instant calming effect on Isaac.  Andrew or I will spend several minutes pouring beans from our hands into Isaac's- as pictured above.  I imagine it to be a mini replica of what it's like to stand next to Niagara Falls for someone who is on the spectrum, but better because they actually get to touch it.  Every time we do this with Isaac he is immediately smiley.  Our wonderful OT, Paula Johnson, brought a smaller bean box to our house for one appointment.  Isaac took to it like a fish to water and was soon trying to fit his entire body into her shoebox sized bean box.  I remembered that I had this Sterilite under-the-bed storage box (with lid) sitting empty under my bed.  I bought several pounds (maybe 15) of raw pinto beans at Meijer to fill it.  I then added little cars, alphabet magnets, number magnets, plastic bugs and animals. 

It's fun to treasure hunt in the beans or push, pour, and pet them.  But mommy and Isaac's favorite bean box game is "More tea, Buzz?" in which our Buzz Lightyear doll holds a tin tea cup and Isaac serves him tea (beans) with a bug in it.  Buzz, being disgusted, throws the tea out and demands more tea- without bugs.  This gets lots of laughs.  And yes, I have perfected my Buzz impersonation right down to calling my tea server "soldier".  I really suggest the bean box for some sensory fun- especially in winter when it's hard to get out.

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