This week we’ll be looking at OT activities and tools that can be made with common household items – no shopping needed!
Calming sensory bottle:
- Plastic water or pop bottle with lid
- Visual items – glitter, sand, sequins etc.
- Filler – water or cooking oil (optional)
- Food colouring (optional)
- White glue or hot glue gun
- Duct tape (optional)
- If using oil, put 1-2 tablespoons into the bottle first with 1-2 drops food colouring. Add visual items. Fill the bottle with water, leaving about 2 cm at the top. Put glue around the inside rim of the lid and quickly screw the lid tightly onto the bottle. Let dry completely before testing the lid to see if it leaks by flipping the bottle upside down. You can also tape around the lid for added security.
- Sensory bottles can be great items for providing visual input. Larger bottles (like 2-liter pop bottles) may also be soothing because they are heavy. They can be rolled back and forth on a hard floor for heavy work.
Sensory Squeeze Balls:
Also known as “stress” balls these are great both for calming and for hand strengthening. Fill them with whatever you like!
- Filler – flour, sand, beans, rice etc.
- Funnel or toilet paper roll
If you have a funnel that is the easiest way to fill the balloons, however, if you don’t have a funnel a cardboard toilet paper roll works as well. Stretch the neck of the balloon over the end of the roll – don’t worry if it bends! Fill the balloon just until the bottom of the neck. Tie a knot in the end and then stretch a second balloon over the first so that the knot of the first balloon ends up in the bottom of the second. You can tie a knot in the second balloon neck or snip it off.
Container Seek n Find:
- Empty laundry jug (for large bottle)
- Small vinegar jug (for small bottle)
- Velcro and glue OR sticky tack OR masking tape
- Small objects – beads, pom poms, blocks, puzzle pieces, coins etc.
- Rinse and dry the jug and discard the lid. Test the objects to make sure that they will fit inside the mouth of the jug. If using Velcro, glue each object to a small circle or square of Velcro and then glue the other half of the Velcro to the jug.
- Cover all sides of the jug with Velcro pieces except for the handle and bottom. If using sticky tack just stick each object onto the jug with a small ball of sticky tack.
- If using tape, you can stick the items on with small rolls of tape. The tape is not as reusable as Velcro or sticky tack, but it works. Now you’re ready!
- Play “I Spy” with the objects on the jug by colour, size, or shape. Have your child hold the jug handle with one hand and pull the right object off with their other hand.
- Encourage them to use their “alligator fingers” to pull off the objects. Alligator fingers are the thumb, index and middle finger, just like we use to hold a pencil.
- Get out your phone timer and have a race! See how quickly your child can pull off all the objects and fill the jug. Challenge them to try with their dominant and non-dominant hand and see who can go the fastest.