This weekend we have 2 birthday parties coming up. When I asked what the children wanted, one of the moms asked if I would create a sensory box for her 1 year old. How fun! It actually turned out to be a great idea, because while I created a box for her child, I also did one for Calliope. Calliope is just starting to sit up on her own, so the timing is perfect! Something for her to explore all on her own. It was very different creating a box that could not contain any choking hazards. All my base materials were out. It took a bit of thinking but I settled on golf ball size wiffle balls, or practice golf balls. They seem perfect. Too big to swallow, tactile with lots of little holes. I then added some larger colored wiffle balls, spiky balls that light up when bounced, maracas, a cut up pool noodle, a lightweight bright colored ice cream scoop and a lace-up card. I felt that this was a good start and hope that the birthday girl's mom will be able to expand upon the ideas. Calliope's box has all of the above and will also have her Sophie, a teether bracelet like thing with bugs on it, a wooden bead rattle, and who knows what else I will add! I really wanted to add alphabet blocks but couldn't find them locally and didn't have enough time to order them before the party.
It really is a lot of stuff in that little box. I anticipate taking some out and rotating the items. With the gift, I also included a laminated note explaining what the purpose of a sensory box was and how to expand upon the idea. We can't forget that the 1 year old has a 3 year old sister, so she too got her very first sensory box full of rainbow rice, marbles, magnetic letters, a melon baller, 3 plastic scoops and a couple of smaller containers. Her's also had a little note to go along with it.
Once you start encouraging sensory activities at home, you look at everything very differently. There are things in the kitchen that make awesome sensory accessories. The dollar area of Target is a great spot to find goodies, and don't forget the dollar store.
As a note, the other mom said her Amazon Wish List was updated. Can I just tell you how helpful this is?! I have an Amazon Wish List for both children, one of just books, and one for myself. It is SO helpful to do this. Please... for those of you with children, consider doing this too! It's an awesome idea and you always get things that your children need/want instead of things that you just won't use or didn't want to start with.
Have fun creating your own sensory experiences!