Saturday, April 7, 2012

Sand Turtle Sensory Bin

(Special "thanks" to the Special Needs Homeschooling Group where I always find neato ideas from my fellow homeschooling fb friends!)

You know that sand turtle sitting in your backyard? The plastic, green one with the el-cheapo lid that never stays on; all little kids seem to have one? Yep, that's the one!

Instead of it being completely useless all winter, I washed ours out and drug it inside the house.

Then, I filled it up with packing peanuts. I dumped 2 1/2 large bags of packing peanuts that I ( when I say I, I mean my husband) bought at UPS. 

Izaiah reluctantly peeking at the turtle
I originally did this for my 2 1/2 year old.  He is very sensitive and enjoys being rubbed, touched, stroked, squished, get the idea. I enjoy all that cuddling, but do need a break now and then.  I thought this packing peanut-filled turtle would be so enticing, but he hated it! He ran away, glaring from a distance. Even after a month I can just barely get him to touch one little peanut!

On the other hand, my daughter, who was a heavy self-stimmer of rocks, beads, foamies, dry rice and beans, LOVED it!!  Today, at age 8, she has (naturally) grown out of most of her stims, but she does still drum which I love because 1.) I believe it is a budding musical talent and 2.) because she loves to turn poetry into music while drumming.  I love that she can read and recite poetry! 

As you can see, put one plastic turtle filled with packing peanuts in the living room and she is in absolute heaven!  Her first reaction was to self-stim with the packing peanuts, but ultimately, she couldn't resist having her entire body in the bin.  Luckily, now that she's older, she can also help me clean up the scattered mess! 

 I also hid toys in there too, like LPS's, Squinkies, Whimsey Pets, and Beanie Babies.  I originally hid Izaiah's Mega-Blocks in there, but he was mad as a bear and wanted those out immediately!!

So, if you're looking for a fresh idea, this one was pretty good.  It got a thumbs way up from one kid, thumbs way down from another.  Try it at your house!!

Annie Eskeldson writes for parents of young autists.  For years, her oldest autist spent hours and hours sitting in parks digging through small pebbles and letting them dribble through her hands while Annie patiently sat close by getting sunburned! After the age of 6, Ashi became aware of playground equipment and has enjoyed it ever since. 
Annie has 3 published children's books about autism at Ashi's Gift Website, check them out!  All books are now available as 8 x 11 hardcovers.  Annie will be doing a book signing in Manhattan, Ks. Saturday, April 14th at the Dusty Bookshelf and will also be speaking at a Homeschooling Conference, April 21st, in Kansas City.


  1. This was really fun and easy to do!

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