Many toys and activities are geared for a child’s sensory and motor development, so why not work on yours at the same time? Building a sensory box is a fantastic way to play with your kiddo while working on functional skills such as picking up small objects, identifying objects in your hands and grasping things. It can also help if you are experiencing numbness, tingling, weakness or decreased coordination in your hands. Incorporating different themes for holidays or seasons provides variety and fun! Working on your senses and changing things up (great for neuroplasticity) greatly helps with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and having fun with your kids.
You can do this activity on your own with your eyes closed to further challenge your sensory system or with your child. Note: Always make sure to keep a close eye on your child when playing with small objects and make sure the items are age appropriate.
Sensory Play Ideas:
Large plastic box (make sure to have a top to keep it closed during the day!)
Rice, beans, legumes, noodles or any kind of grain in your pantry, sand or shredded paper as a filler
Coins, small figurines, straws or toy cars
Any smaller toys you have (make sure to watch out for potential choking hazards and always watch your child while they are playing with the sensory box)
Felt cut outs, pom poms or plastic bottle caps
You can also add water as a filler and purchase water beads if you don’t want to use pantry items or want to have different sensory boxes
Ask to feel and describe what you are touching (is it sharp, soft, smooth etc.)
Grab a few items or practice your pincer grip with grabbing just one or two small items or grains
Move your hand around the box and identify the different textures and objects
If you are by yourself, take hold of the objects and rub in between your fingers or in your palms to identify the object and its characteristics
Perform kneading movements while grabbing various objects