At Greyson’s recent wellness check, we dabbled with the idea of ADHD with his pediatrician. He’s pretty textbook for symptoms but no official diagnosis is to be made until school teachers see it, too. Being the proactive Mom I am, I started researching things like sensory aids, ways of eating, etc. Of course, we started using Vetiver and other essential oils but I wanted more hands on, too.
Sensory toys are amazing for children with Autism, ADHD, anxiety.. Sensory toys improve the child’s daily functuous and improves the way they learn and develop. It does this by changing brain interactions to touch, sound, sight and movements. Even small amounts of sensory play can enhance a child’s ability to absorb information.
I also found that weighted blankets and/or toys are very beneficial. Weight in a blanket/toy provide pressure to receptors throughout the body.
The pressure helps the body relax. Weighted toys help to feel safe and secure, like a warm hug would.
After pricing sensory and weighted toys, I was so discouraged at the pricing. I understand why.. but it was definitely out of our budget for the time being. So I took to trusty Pinterest and found some ideas.
Cue two weeks later, I’m strolling through Walmart and I stumble across Mermaid pillows… and mermaid tablet covers. You know, those neat flip sequins fabric items. It dawns on me for a DIY. I saw some blankets where they would sew in.. and toys where they would stuff.. surely this could work?
So I couldn’t pass up the idea.. or the deal. The mermaid tablet cover was on sale for $2.50 at my local Walmart! I picked up glass marble beads at our DollarTree, along with some sand, duct tape and zip lock bags. I got enough to make 2. Monkey see, Monkey Do. Surely Gage would want to mimic big brother!
I calculated how much weight would be needed to be beneficial for each boy.
I found several sources that suggest occupational therapist recommend 10% of the child’s body weight + 1 to 2 lbs.
I used the sand and glass beads to full zip loc backs. I did a half and half mixture because I wanted them weighted but not super lumpy. Once I had the bags filled, I sealed the edges of the bags. Sand can get a bit messy and I didn’t want it all over the house if the case cover were somehow opened.
After I had them sealed, I grabbed some old t-shirts. I wish I’d taken a photo at this stage, but I forgot. I laid each bag side by side flat on the t-shirt and rolled it up. This added some extra cushion. The GREAT thing about the tablet covers were they were pre-sewn, had a zipper already, a carrying rope and the backside was a super soft velvet. Two textures for a low cost.
After the weighted bags were rolled safely into the old t-shirt, I tucked them into the tablet sleeve and zipped it up, Easy-Peasy! I’m sure you could sew different fabrics for different textures or even mermaid fabric on both side.. sewing just isn’t my strong suit so I took a short cut.
After finishing pillow/toy 1, I called Greyson and Shawn over to check it out and almost instantly got smiles of approval. I may or may not have snuck some Young Living in there, too. A cotton sheet of Vetiver, Lavender, Valor II, Peace & Calming II happened to find its way inside the sleeve.
Greyson had been playing with the mermaid texture about a week before I could actually do the weights due to the Katana incident. He’d even “drawn” Baymax from Big Hero 6 for hid Dad earlier this too help his “booboo”.
So, funny story, as I look down to work on Gage’s pillow, Shawn was taking Greyson’s for a “test drive”. I looked up and managed to sneak this gem. Enjoy!
It took me about 30 minutes, max, to finish both. The family has been enjoying them since!