DIY Sensory Toys Part 1

Hey guys!

I am back with another post that relates to Autism, but is certainly not just for people on the spectrum. Sensory toys are great for ways to relax or calm down and are used by many different people.

Since sensory toys are very expensive simply because they have the name sensory in front of it, I thought I would share some alternative things and cheap ways to make your own sensory toys at home using cheap supplies or ingredients. I haven’t looked into how to make any sensory chewie toy, but normal chewing gum is a great alternative. Of course you can download fidget apps such as spinners for free on your phone. I personally find these to be quite silly and useless for myself, but maybe someone might find this idea helpful.

Now as promised here are some ideas for sensory toys with what you will need to make them and step to step process with how to make them. Some of them are kind of hard to make and I had a hard time also explaining how to make them, but I promised this post and I thought it would be fun to do. I also don’t feel like working on my other posts today. I suggest if you can’t understand some of the step processes I explained or need more ideas for any of them you can try googling most of these I am sure. In the future, I may try and do some with pictures or video maybe to make it easier. I have other ideas and continue to try new ideas for sensory toys as I come across them so I may do a DIY Sensory Toys Part 2 in the future.

DIY Sensory toys

-Sensory Bottle
What you will need:

1. Empty water bottle and cap (I recommend a larger one or more medium size, but can be done with a smaller bottle if preferred)
2. Small beads, jewels or even animal toys (use other idea if preferred) Most of these can be purchased in a dollar store or Wal-mart etc.
3. Warm water
4. Glitter (optional)

How to make it:

1. Fill the empty bottle with jewels, beads etc (do not fill it up all the way, you just need a bit or whatever suits your need.) Add glitter if you want
2. Fill the rest of it up with warm water. (I recommend using warm water because it makes it feel more relaxing and soothing.)
3. Close it with the cap

What you can do with it:
Shake it up and spin it. (It looks pretty and can be soothing to look at as the beads/jewels etc move around in the water)
It feels calming on your hands
Throw it around slightly

Gel packs:
What you need:

1. Small Ziploc bag (The small sandwich bags work great) I suggest ziploc because the plastic tends to be a bit tougher.
2. Dollar store hair gel or if you prefer to use another kind of gel.
3. Pattern or normal duct tape (whatever pattern or color you like)
4. Blade, knife or scissors
5. Food Coloring (choose a color you like or even try mixing colors)
6. Glitter
7. Smooth objects such as those smooth rocks you can find in floating candles or fish tanks. As long as they won’t puncture the bag.

Things like food coloring, glitter and what objects you want to use are all optional and what you like.

How to make it:

1. Fill the ziploc bag with a good amount of hair gel, but not all the way. (Whatever feels good for you) Note: Try to not get gel on the top where you close it to avoid making a mess. It can be cleaned up after though if you get a bit of it on by accident.
2. Add your food coloring (however much you want) and glitter
3. Add optional objects for sensory stimulation
4. Try to get as much air out of the bag as possible. It is okay if there is a little bit of air in the bag.
5. Close the bag up
6. Cut a piece of the duct tape to a similar size as the top of the bag.
7. Seal the duct tape on the top of the bag but it overlaps so you can fold it over and seal it up. Note: If you cut the piece of tape bigger than the bag you can trim off the access when done.
8. You can leave it like this if you want but you can also trim around all the edges or even cover all the bag with the duct tape.
9. Mix it around so the colors and objects can spread out. The more you mix it the more they will spread out.

What you can do with it:
Play and squish it between your fingers. Watch how the colors move around.
Throw it around a bit. (Be careful remember it can break)
Set it on your body or hand and see how it feels.

Sensory Tube: (Hard to make kind of because it involves sawing but I love this idea)
What you will need:

1. Piece of inch and a quarter tubing that you can buy at Lowes or Home Depot. This works best because it is very hard plastic and almost impossible to break, but I am sure you can use other kinds of plastic tubes.
2. One inch dowel
3. Hand saw or other saw
4. Whatever stuff you want to put in your tube be it beads, jewels, glitter or other small objects.
5. Hair Dryer

How to make it:

1. Insert the dowel into the bottom of your tube and cut off the access (Only insert it like an inch in or what have you) You only need enough to close up the tube.
2. (Step 2: Optional, but if you want to do this you have to make sure to do it first.) Get the sparkley pipe cleaners and wrap it tightly around a pencil or pen for a curl. Remove the pen or pencil, stretch the pipe cleaner out a bit and drop it in the tube.
3. Add beads, jewels or whatever small trinkets you want. Add glitter or sprinkles if you want. Note: Don’t fill it all up with the trinkets as you need enough space that they can move throughout the tube.
4. Insert the dowel into the top of your tube so it closes up. (Again like an inch) Note: It is not easy to do get the dowel to go into the tube. A tip is to heat up the end of the tube with something like a hair dryer.
5. Saw off the rest of the dowel and where it is even with the tube.

What you can do with it:
Shake it up
Move it up and down with your hands and watch the beads/jewels/glitter etc move through it.

Fidget Board/Sensory Board:
What you need: (Most of this stuff can be purchased at wal mart, dollar store etc)

1. Cutting board. Big or travel size (try to find one that has a god handle so it is easy to carry around)
2. Staple gun and staples
3. Hot glue gun and glue stick
4. Pick things that suit your sensory needs. Some ideas include cheap plastic slinkies, cotton balls, ribbons, sparkley bow, Velcro, felt material etc

How to make it:
Basically just staple or hot glue everything you chose for your sensory needs onto the board itself. You can choose a lot of different textures and colors. You can even add things with different sounds if you like.

What you can do with it:
Play with and feel the different sensory objects.

Stretchy/Stress ball: (One of my favorites)
What you will need:

1. Orbeez beads (Or you can buy water like orbeez so you don’t have to wait)
2. an empty bottle such as a pop bottle
3. water
4. Stretchy good size balloons (Do not use the tiny balloons)

How to make it:

1. Fill about a 1/4 or more of the bottle with water and fill it with the orbeez
2. Let the beads sit in the water from 4-8 hours if you are using just the regular orbeez. (Preferably over night) The longer they sit the more they will grow to their full size and be plump.
3. Take the opening of the balloon and stretch it around the open end of the pop bottle.
4. Slowly pump the beads from the bottle into the balloon.
5. Fill the whole balloon and tie it.

What you can do with it:
Play with it and squish it between your fingers

Sparkley Squishy Stress Ball:

What you will need:

1. Small bowls (4 ideally)
2. Something to mix it with like a spoon or those wooden stick things they use to mix coffee
3. Borax
4. measuring cup
5. Clear glue
6. water
7. food coloring
8. glitter powder
9. nail glitter
10. Funnel or top cut off of a pop bottle
11. latex balloons (not the tiny ones)

How to make it:

1. Get three or four small bowls and fill each one with a good amount of clear glue and 5.4 oz/160 ml water
2. Add whatever food coloring you chose to each bowl. (example: Blue food coloring in the first bowl. red food coloring in the second and so on. Or you can use the same color in all of them)
3. Add your glitter powder and nail glitter to each bowl
4. Mix each bowl really good
5. Add about a spoonful of borax in a measuring cup with 13.5 oz/400 ml hot water. Mix it and then you want to melt it and cool it.
6. Add a bit to each of your bowls you already have done. You will know when it gets squishy and sticky as you mix it together.
7. After mixing take the gunk out separately and set it down.
8. Optional: You can play or squish the separate gunk together before funneling it into the balloon.
9. If you don’t have a funnel you can just cut off the top of an empty pop bottle or water bottle and use it the same.
10. Stretch the balloon opening around the funnel.
11. Push each piece of the gunk you have into the balloon using the funnel. You will have to do it by small enough amount of stuff you have so it will funnel properly.
12. Once your balloon is full remove it from the funnel and tie up the end.

What you can do with it:
Same as the stretchy stress ball.

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