Saturday, February 19, 2011

Lightly Weighted Sensory Stuffed Animals!

I saw this great weighted stuffed animal (Cozy Hugs) at Big Lots for $7.00, and just couldn't pass it up (I found these on-line "on sale" for 27.50 a piece)!  
Knowing now that I saved myself $20.00 I may have to go get another one!
For many children, and adults for that matter, weighted blankets, vests or toys can provide a soothing, calming effect and can help reduce anxiety.  This weighted stuffed bear is simply the perfect size and weight (just comfortable, not heavy) to hand to a child during group or center time who is having difficulty focusing on an activity, having difficulty engaging in an activity or simply needs some time to regroup and calm down.   If you have a child with sensory processing disorder, weighted materials may be an integral part of his/her sensory diet (An occupational therapist would always be involved with the child if this is the case). 

This weighted stuffed animal is also the perfect size and weight to sit on a child's lap while reading a story.  Or, perhaps lay tucked under an arm as a child is calming down for nap time!   It is small enough to sit on a child's lap in a wheelchair, or to be carried around with a child in the classroom!

I really liked the idea that these weighted stuffed animals are also aromatherapy animals!  They can be placed in a microwave with a bowl of water and when removed after a few seconds are warm and provide a calming aromatherapy smell.  I'm not sure I will use these warm in the classroom, but it certainly is an option!   And, you can smell the lavender scent even without warming it up!

Now, if you choose to try to make your own weighted stuffed animal, here is an article with directions on how to do that!


A few cautions:
  1. Before using a weighted item with ANY child it is ALWAYS a good idea to consult an occupational therapist!
  2. NOTE:  (This post is not intended to provide information on how to use weighted materials with children who have sensory processing disorder, autism or PDD.  I am not an occupational therapist, and certainly not an expert in this area.  Here are several sites and articles that are (in general) quick and easy to read on the topics of:  sensory processing disorder, sensory seekers and sensory avoiders, an example of a working sensory diet, reducing anxiety in children as well as a sensory processing disorder blog.  If you have more questions please consult an occupational therapist!)

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