SENSORY INTEGRATION BOXES
The concept of a sensory box, is by no means new. The problem is however, that there are no “ready-to-use” “easily accessible” sensory boxes to speak of. Plenty of people have lists online as to the things that one can include in a box, but the average person thinks to themselves “gee, that’s a nice idea”, but never actually gets around to making one.
The other thing is, that everyone speaks of “sensory stimulation this” and “sensory stimulation that” but very few of those people accurately understand its importance and the correct use thereof.
As an occupational therapist, I have decided to help parents with this, in providing them with “sensory play on tap (S.P.O.T)”. This means that many ideas to encourage sensory exploration, are packed and ready to use as sensory kits.
The concepts and benefits behind the ideas have an Occupational Therapy approach and therefore make the sensory box a play “tool” as opposed to a play “toy”. The materials and tools inside the sensory kits are all included for a particular purpose - they facilitate and encourage play whilst encompassing our sensory modalities - sight, touch, taste, smell and hearing, as well as briefly attending to two new senses, Proprioception and the Vestibular sense.
The idea behind such play is that learning is enhanced, through awakening the senses, exploration and incidental discovery.
Upon investigating the contents of a box, some items may appear futile and almost pointless. The idea lies behind the purpose of the item as well as its functional importance in our little ones development. Something as teeny weeny as a tiny glittery spiky pom-pom, together with an everyday item such as a straw, can result in a fundamental discovery of “cause and effect” for a child, hence developing the stepping stones to problem solving, creative play, imagination and the laying of building blocks for future success!
So in the end, what I am trying to do is save you, as a busy parent, TIME!
Time is something we all seem to have very little of these days. Life, as we know it now, is so fast and so busy, that to balance work and play is becoming ever increasingly difficult, especially when little ones are involved.
BUT, I am also trying to impart my training and overwhelming knowledge and passion for children and the importance of sensory exploration in their world. I truly believe that children are not playing in the “good old fashioned way” that they used to, and that it is inherently contributing to the number of children attending Occupational Therapy for intervention.
If we can try to incorporate more of the “good old play” into our busy lives, perhaps we wouldn’t need to find the time for Occupational Therapy sessions?
I am bringing “the OT Stuff” (T.O.T.S) to YOU
I need to remind you that sensory boxes alone are not sufficient. One needs to actively engage in gross and fine motor play tasks to fully optimise the benefits of play.
I can only urge you that having sensory play on tap is a start
I pose no guarantee that your child will end up a rocket scientist from the mere interaction with my sensory boxes. But what I can tell you, is that the research is extensive - sensorimotor experiences and play, facilitate learning and hence lay down the foundation for future experiences and learning opportunities, and ultimately, success at school and one day the workplace.
Please see the Sensory Integration Products page.
Copyright 2011 SPOT on TOTS